Last week South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier suggested that the SEC become the first major conference or league – college or professional — to count only division games when determining its division champions. All East versus West games would be tantamount to exhibition games. There would be no difference between South Carolina playing Alabama and South Carolina playing Wofford in terms of the SEC standings.
Well, with the exception of a few very vocal Carolina fans — who would no doubt back Spurrier at this point if he said “let’s secede!” — the rest of the world laughed at the coach’s short-sighted, self-serving proposal.
You see, USC failed to reach Atlanta last year because it lost a game against Arkansas (from the West) while Georgia — a team the Cocks did beat — toppled woeful Ole Miss (from the West).
Despite the fact that if Spurrier’s plan were implanted it could result in a 5-3 SEC team reaching the title game over a 7-1 SEC team, the coach is still banging his toy drum today:
“I think the athletic directors and even the presidents are going to discuss it a little bit. What it does is it just takes out the scheduling as who determines the winner of the divisions. Sometimes like for example last year Tennessee and Florida both played Alabama and LSU, obviously two of the best teams in the country, maybe the two best teams. Us and Georgia did not play them. So obviously, us and Georgia are going to probably win the division. We had the same schedule as Georgia except for one game—they got to play Ole Miss and we played Arkansas, but that’s just the way it has always been. You just eliminate scheduling as maybe who the champion of the division is. I think it’s a good idea. We’ll see how it works out.”
Not sure who Spurrier’s talking about because the commissioner of the league, Mike Slive, said last week that he’d have a hard time imagining an SEC game not counting in the SEC standings. And Slive usually has the pulse of the league’s presidents pretty well gauged at all times.
Mark Richt was asked during today’s SEC post-spring teleconference if he thought Spurrier’s proposal would get much support at the SEC Meetings in late-May. His take?
“No, I don’t think it would. All I know is tell me what the rule are at the beginning of the season and we’ll play by them.”
Amen. Spurrier should follow that plan, too. So far he’s done a darn fine job in Columbia… better than most anyone would have predicted. With his track record and the roster he’s now put together, he shouldn’t have to pimp for changes unheard of in the rest of the sports-playing world.