When Florida State president T.K. Wetherall predicted an inevitable lurch toward a playoff after a majority of conference commissioners killed the idea a couple weeks ago, he probably thought he was joining the regional bandwagon begun last year by his administrative comrade at Florida, Bernie Machen, and furthered this winter by the doomed proposals of Georgia prez Mike Adams and SEC/BCS commissioner Mike Slive. Au contraire, says Slive in Saturday's Tallahassee Democrat:
"Let me always be very clear to tell you I don't agree with the Florida State president," Slive said. "President Wetherell's statements were counterproductive, because those who support a plus-one do not support a playoff. "I never said playoff. I never used the 'p' word."
- - -
Hat tip: The Wiz
Slive: Cool, as long as you don't call it that. It's gotta sell, dog.
- - -
Not to get all Tim Russert in here, but O RLY, commissioner? In January, Slive's "season of discussion" about the BCS included a "Plus One" model that was described thusly by the New York Times:
Slive said that any talk of specifics of the Plus One model was "putting the cart before the horse," but he and [ACC commissioner and incoming BCS commissioner Jim] Swofford did release the one moderate news item of the day. They came out in favor of the seeding model of the Plus One. That would essentially create a Final Four of college football, squaring off the winner of the game between the No. 1 and No. 4 teams against the winner of the No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup.
- - -
In Saturday's Democrat article, just before Slive is quoted in his steadfast opposition to a playoff, his idea for a "Plus One" is described the same way:
Under the plus-1, the top four seeded teams would play in a semifinal game in already established bowls and the winners would advance to a national championship game.
- - -
Seeding. Semifinals. Winners advance to a championship game. As I wrotein January, this is a "Plus One" in the same way the Super Bowl began as a "Plus One" to the AFL and NFL championship games. It won't be contained in those parameters for long.
Not that I have any problem with the rhetorical evasion (I have a much bigger problem with its connection to the long-term trajectory of the so-called "super conference" vision, the long-imagined, roped-off premiere league that unfortunately shares the momentum of a playoff over the last decade and a half). The assumption here since Machen began making waves a year ago is that the evolution will occur stealthily, quietly over time, with people insisting it isn't what it is, until it gets to big and ludicrous for the emperors to continue to claim the BCS still has the finest clothes. This is all still years away – plenty of time to figure out what they want to call it.