Mike Slive Discusses Playoffs, League Size, TV Negotiations

March 8, 2012
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Mike Slive Discusses Playoffs, League Size, TV Negotiations

Mike Slive discussed two of the more pressing big picture issues in college football with the Birmingham Newsyesterday, those being the future of the postseason format and the size of conferences.

He said he’s willing to discuss a four-team playoff where only conference champions are included, but his inclination is to oppose such a restriction. It’s not hard to figure out why, considering he had two schools play for the national title in 2011. That sentiment puts him in opposition to Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and outgoing interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, who both have voiced support for limiting any playoff to only conference champions. In the history of the BCS, the SEC has put two teams in the top four of the final rankings three times. The Big 12 has also done it three times, the Big Ten two times, and no other conference has done it once.

Slive also was skeptical of the plan the Big Ten leaked a month ago where a football final four would hold semifinals on campus and the title game at a neutral site. He cited the basketball tournament as an example where postseason games are played on neutral sites. This is a bad comparison however because with two exceptions—when a big program plays near its home and wherever it is Kentucky plays—attendance at early rounds is generally sparse. Only Final Four games and the championship have guaranteed full crowds, but that’s because they’re all played in the same city on the same weekend.

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