Dan Wetzel is right on the money here (to borrow a line from CJ columnist Eric Crawford) in his recent article on Mike Slive's fight for a BCS playoff system.
There’s a sizeable portion of college football that is lamenting that the BCS championship game could feature a rematch of two teams from the same league – LSU and Alabama of the Southeastern Conference.[...]
If it were up to the SEC, though, it never would’ve happened. At least not without giving teams from two other leagues a chance to prove themselves on the field.
In 2008, commissioner Mike Slive pitched a so-called “plus-one” plan that essentially was a four-team playoff using existing bowl games. Other than the ACC, the other conferences not only summarily rejected the plan, they refused to even discuss its details.
“I remember it being a lonely meeting,” Slive said Saturday. “That’s all I want to say about it.”[...]
Slive is humble guy, a genteel 71-year old, almost allergic to trash talk. Besides, he doesn’t have to say it because in this case, to the rejected go the spoils. Sticking with a simple 1-2 matchup in the BCS title game has proven to be a boon for the SEC and a disaster for just about everyone else.
Under Slive’s plan, LSU and Alabama would’ve had to beat two extremely good teams on a neutral field to assure this season’s title game.[...]
Besides, a one-loss SEC team is almost always going to get the benefit of the doubt with voters over a one-loss anyone else. That’s just how it is in a subjective system.
The BCS built the SEC’s reputation. And now the SEC’s reputation has overwhelmed the BCS.[...]
Slive went back to Birmingham humbled. Now his league has grown so dominant that in any given season, the SEC is all but assured of one spot in the title game. The other 100-some odd schools compete for the other.
And now they have to compete with the second-best SEC team for it.
“The decision was made a long time ago in the BCS to say you don’t have to be a champion, that there shouldn’t be any constraints, either formal or informal,” Slive said. “If it’s the two best teams in our league or the two best in another league, they are the two best teams.
“This may put this in perspective that people may not have thought about.”