Mike Slive sounds off on the NCAA’s tabled 10-second proposal, future scheduling

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day

The offseason’s most heated debate should be a healthy debate, if Mike Slive has anything to say about it.

Slive stayed mum throughout the NCAA’s 10-second proposal discussion that would have theoretically slowed down offenses, until yesterday.

Slive said there’s no way he could take a side on the subject, but he did say that there should be a competition committee that fuels a healthy debate on the subject so we can make an accurate decision about the tabled rule, according to AL.com.

“This would have been a perfect subject for someone to look at the game itself who cared about the game and then come up with an interpretation,” Slive said. “Then and only then would it go to the rules committee for some change in the game because they believed in the long-term best interest of the game that ‘this is a good idea or not a good idea.’

“This debate exposed a glaring error in the process. Hopefully we can fill that.”

The heated discussion turned into a finger-pointing contest at perceived ‘bad guy’ Nick Saban, who was a big proponent of the proposed rule, and it put the biggest rivalry in college football between Alabama and Auburn directly in the crosshairs.

RELATED: Will Muschamp speaks truth on 10-second proposal

A healthy debate is exactly what Gus Malzahn proposed prior to the NCAA sidelining the proposed rule.

“The bottom line: This is not a rule-change year,” Malzahn said in mid-February. “For a rule to be changed, it has to be under the umbrella of health and safety. And the fact that there’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions.

“What I asked him [Calhoun] to do is move this to next year where it is a rule-change year, that we can hear both sides and have a healthy debate on moving forward with the rules.”

If Slive gets his wish, a competition committee would be formed to help decide what’s best for the longevity of the game, and Malzahn’s and Slive’s idea of a healthy debate may just happen.

Can you imagine the ratings of a debate that pitted Malzahn and Saban together regarding the 10-second proposal?

Future scheduling

Slive also touched on future football scheduling in 2016 and beyond. Figuring out whether the league will stick with an eight-game conference schedule or move to a nine-game slate, along with keeping or demolishing permanent cross-divisional rivalries, will be decided prior to the SEC’s spring meetings in late May.

RELATED: SEC’s Strength of Schedule 2014

Slive also said no conference rivalry was sacred, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“Last spring in Destin (Fla.), our presidents said to us, ‘Study the formats and we want a decision in time for the 2016 season,’ which is now,” Slive said. “So we’ve been working on that since then.

“We tell them that all of the formats — every one of them — has a series of advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “There’s no one that lines up with all advantages and there’s no one that lines up with all disadvantages. So people are going to have to make a decision knowing that whatever decision they make is going to have some advantages and some disadvantages.”

The SEC’s sacred rivalries of Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee sound like they’re in jeopardy.

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I, for one, think it would be asinine to base the future scheduling of a 14-member SEC on preserving AL-UT & UGA-AU. Let those 4 keep their annual game & let the other 10 have 2 (or 3) rotating cross-division games.

    Sidenote: I at least understand why Bama wants to keep that series going with UT.

    • It’s no secret really: We love watching UT get kicked around, and it’s better when our team is the one doing it. Personally, I loathe UT more than I do Auburn.

    • Smart summary PCB. It’s important to the league for cross division teams to play every opponent at least once in a 4 year cycle (more important than playing a cross division rival every year), because all those cross division games are going to have some feeling of rivalry also. The 4 open dates need to be scheduled smartly against other conferences who might be trying to catch up with the SEC. SEC programs that are rebuilding need to win those smartly scheduled non-conference matches as #1 priorities instead of getting blown out by a rivalry during a mis-match year. The SEC is, by nature of it’s member’s football passion, a club of programs where every weekend could be a rivalry. As a Missouri follower, I already feel a rivalry with Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Vandy, aTm, Auburn, Arkansas, O’Ms., (Missouri has an even record with Alabama), and I know the rest of the league is soon to have the same feeling. The low class thug fights between Auburn and Alabama (used to be Missouri and Kansas) are extremely bad for college athletics, football, the NCAA, the State, and the institution. All the bad hooligans will go hate someone else if the rivalries are kept in league perspective. Not to mention the temptation to cheat.

      • Did you not watch the iron bowl this year Wolfman? That proves to college athletics why it is the best rivalry in the country. It’s not two thugs playing against each other, it is a game where two of the top teams in the SEC West give each other the best game of the year. It is important to college athletics because it shows the enthusiasm with the schools and as your comment that it is bad for the state. That just sounds unintelligent. The reason the iron bowl is such a big deal to our fan bases is because we do not have professional football and we take pride in what our colors are. Something I guess you do not understand. Also to take the AU vs UGA game out of the season would be a disappointment. It is the oldest rivalry in the South and normally is a hell of a game to watch (depending on the year). Obviously Alabama would like to keep UT on the schedule because lets face it, it’s almost an automatic win every year recently. Hopefully UT can get it together and restore the rivalry but I do not see that based on their recruiting and progress over the years

        • I didn’t write that very carefully. AL v AU is a great rivalry, with the vast majority of fans behaving admirably. But like Missouri v Kansas, I’d like to see a small minority of the fans involved lose their membership cards. Sorry for the way that read. My point is that in some rivalries a social element can infiltrate that hurts college football.

  • Sorry Mr. Slive, In order for there to be a debate each side has to have some facts. It’s not a fact to say “Defense wins championships”, “Except when it doesn’t, and when that happens, new rules to help the defense wins championships”. It is a fact to say that many injuries in football are caused by defenders hitting the offense. If the defense has to play at the pace of the offense they can’t hit as hard or with an attitude to injure, as often.

  • In this day and age, the only thing driving scheduling is MONEY which equates to TV contracts! Rivalries and history don’t hold a candle to the green stuff, and as the SEC has shown us over and over, enough is never really enough. TV money pretty much has ruined NASCAR and if college football isn’t careful, TV money will ruin it as well. The network execs could care less about 10 years down the road, and only care about NOW NOW NOW! The university presidents need to step up now, which will be super hard as all of them have become money mongers to keep the addiction fed. Think all of this is far fetched? It’s much closer than everyone realizes. The powers to be in the NCAA would approve a new sport where players played on a football field with commode seats on their heads with roller skates and using bowling balls…..IF……some network slid a 2 billion dollar TV contract across the table. The NCAA is not the NCAA I grew up with.

  • Let’s not forget LSU/Florida…..The very nature of rivalries is that one team maybe down a few years and then it switches. The SEC East ruled the SEC Championship in it’s early years, now that has swapped to the West. Moving Auburn to the East and Mizzou to the West would solve one issue. But yes, a nine-game SEC schedule probably makes the most sense. As it is now some schools won’t play each other for 9-10 years. Every other conference in the country has gone to a nine game schedule. Strength of Schedule will figure greatly in the upcoming College Football Championship 4 team playoff. Some teams i.e. Georgia with Clemson plus their normal GT game have constant meaningful out-of-conference games. Bama has taken on a few big schools to open the season the last few years. Florida on the other hand hasn’t left the State for a out-of-conference game since Syracuse in 1991. They do play FSU every year however. I firmly believe more meaningful conference games will drive the schedule. More fans in the seats instead of the Nowhere U games plus more SEC TV money.

  • Here’s a thought. Each team keeps two rival games never to rotate and the other six rotate every two years (3 off each year so it staggers). Then best two play in the sec championship game.

    • Once we went to 14 teams, I thought getting rid of divisions (like basketball) was the answer. It won’t happen though. If we do stick with divisions (we will), & stay with an 8-game conference schedule, then the 2 across-division games need to rotate every year. If we go to a 9-game schedule (we won’t), then maybe preserve cross-division rivals. They need to do whatever it takes for a player to be able to play every conference member at least once in his 4 years on campus. That is good for the players & the fans. Under the current format, we’ll play Eastern Division teams once every 6 years & visit their stadium once every 12 years. Hell, they may as well not even be in the same conference.

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