Published June 4, 2012 - 9:57am
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By the time SEC spring meetings roll around every year, I am in full football mode. We have a little under 90 days until toe hits the leather. This usually kicks everything off as anticipation grows higher.
The SEC meetings, held in Destin, were very important for the SEC and the future in making decisions for issues that have long-term implications. The coaches, athletic directors and university presidents, along with figurehead conference commissioner Mike Slive, always talk about important topics that will shape the SEC for years to come, and this year was no different.
Here is everything football-related you need to know about last week:
Future College Football Playoff In 2014
The SEC voted unanimously in favor of the four-team national playoff that will begin in 2014, and they are very much sticking to their guns on who those four teams will be. All coaches, ADs and presidents have given Slive the authority to take the SEC’s unanimous decision to other conference commissioners. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC have all said publicly they are in favor of only conference champions making the playoff. The Big 12 is in agreement with the SEC that conference champions are not the way to go.
Slive did say the SEC is open to how the four teams are chosen.
So, where do we go from here?
I have thought repeatedly that there will be a compromise on the subject, with it possibly being a 3-1 agreement where it will ultimately come to three conference champions and one wildcard. We’ll let this one play out.
The 6-1-1 Scheduling Model Wins Out
The conference approved the 6-1-1 model for the unforeseen future, most likely for about 12 years or so. Each team will play six division games, one cross divisional rivalry and one rotating cross divisional team each year. The rotating game will feature a rotation of teams each season, and schools will go 12 years between each rotation.
Cross-divisional rivalry games like Alabama-Tennessee, Georgia-Auburn and Florida-LSU will stay in tact, and it was “unanimously” agreed upon, per Slive.
There was some talk about a 6-2 scheduling model that was popular with the coaches, but it did not pick up much steam. Also, Steve Spurrier’s divisional-records-only proposal was never seriously discussed.
However, in the future, the league could do better with a nine-game conference schedule. This would be popular for several reasons, with the big one creating better TV games that the SEC could monetize quite well.
Record Money Distribution
The SEC will distribute a record $241.5 million to its 12 members during the 2011-12 academic year, with each member getting roughly $20.1 million in payouts.
Here is the breakdown:
• $116.6 million from football television contracts
• $34.2 million from football bowl games
• $15.3 million from the SEC Championship Game in football
• $31.2 million from basketball television contracts
• $24.9 million from NCAA championships
• $4.9 million from the SEC Tournament in men’s basketball
• $14.4 million in a supplemental distribution
A New Rivalry Is Born
Missouri and Arkansas will become permanent cross-divisional rivals. This is a direct result of Texas A&M and South Carolina agreeing to become permanent cross-divisional rivalries earlier this year.
South Carolina will now get the exposure Missouri was hoping to have every year in Texas. But Mizzou has been shifting their plan and recruiting Atlanta hard as well, in addition to Texas.
Missouri and Arkansas will recruit a lot of the same players, and it will become a border-state rivalry of sorts. Each team needs a big-time rivalry in this conference. They just might have gotten one.
SEC Is Looking For Another Bowl Tie-in
With the addition of two teams, the SEC is now looking for another bowl tie-in. Commissioner Slive confirmed the deal may be quicker than expected:
“We’re in conversations now, and attempting to provide another bowl for the next two years,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “We think we’ll be able to make an announcement shortly.”
Concussion and Drug Testing Discussions
The SEC says it is taking steps to learn as much as it can about concussions, ultimately hoping to make college football safer in the future. The league announced last Friday it has appointed Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones to head a working group what will review available research on the matter. The SEC has no standard concussion policies or guidelines to deal with head injuries, yet.
Drug testing and drug use at schools was briefly discussed, and it will be discussed again in the next October meeting:
“As a conference we decided we want to educate ourselves a little bit more about what every university does,” South Carolina president Harris Pastides said, “and then someday if we believe we want to make it more standardized — but I want to be clear there was no decision to standardize what they do and what we do has to be the same. There was some discussion about that.”
Spring meetings are now over. College football is just around the corner.