SEC Football: Spurrier's Idea Would Take Away from Rivalries, Benefit Gamecocks
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There always seems to be one or two nuggets that come out of the SEC's annual spring meeting in Destin, Fla. This year will apparently be no different.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier made waves last season by introducing the thought of developing a fund that coaches could pay into to pay players.
This year, he told Andy Staples of SI.com that he wants to decide division champions by division record, rather than by overall SEC record.
This can't happen.
Under this plan, cross-division rivalries—including historically significant games like Auburn vs. Georgia and Alabama vs. Tennessee—would essentially have the same impact that out-of-conference games have now.
Sure, the SEC could weave overall record into the tiebreaker system, but that wouldn't be enough. Those games are important because of their historical significance and their impact to the conference title, not one or the other.
Not only would this proposal chip away at the history of the SEC, but it's also selfish on Spurrier's part.
The Gamecocks swept the SEC East last season, but missed out on the division title due to two losses against SEC West opponents, one of which was a home loss to underdog Auburn.
Under this system, South Carolina would have played LSU in the SEC Championship Game, not Georgia—which didn't play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU out of the West (and won't in 2012 either).
Critics will argue that it also makes the SEC West a much tougher path than the East. That's true now, but division power typically goes in waves.
That is exactly why it's selfish.
Spurrier wants another SEC Championship, and he knows that he's not too far away from retirement. This plan would benefit Spurrier and the Gamecocks in the short-term, but would basically splinter the SEC into two separate football conferences in the process.
Spurrier told Staples that the plan "probably won't pass because I made it."
He's wrong. The plan won't pass because Mike Slive's job is look out for the entire conference, not just the team's that are in the division that is perceived to be weaker at the time.
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