SEC Football

SEC Football: Why Steve Spurrier's Division Championship Proposal Won't Happen

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
South Carolina head coach Steve SpurrierStreeter Lecka/Getty Images
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMay 17, 2012

For the second straight season, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has managed to make the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. more interesting than they normally are.

Last season, the head coach proposed that head coaches could pay money out of their own pocket into a fund to pay college football players. This year, he's on a mission to change the way division titles are awarded. 

Spurrier wants to award division titles to the team with the best record within the division, rather than overall SEC record.

I've already voiced my opposition to this proposal. Since Spurrier mentioned it, LSU head coach Les Miles and Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin have come out in support of it.

They're going to be disappointed, because it won't happen.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick SabanButch Dill/Getty Images

Alabama head coach Nick Saban revealed on Tuesday that he is against the proposal, according to Andrew Gribble of AL.com. Saban is the SEC's most prominent head coach, and his opposition surely hurts the cause; but that's not the real reason that it won't happen.

What's the real reason? Money.

All of these conversations that we are having lately—playoffs, realignment, even oversigning legislation—are all related to money. 

Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun hits it out of the park with his explanation. Television partners would have a fit if Spurrier got his way.

The SEC just added 13 percent of the nation's top 31 television markets in the United States with the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri. ESPN and CBS have already stated that they want more compelling inventory to sell during Weeks 1, 2 and 13.

In the SEC's current eight-game schedule, 25 percent of the games played are cross-division games. Is Mike Slive prepared to go to his television partners and say that one-quarter of his inventory is essentially meaningless save for a few rivalry games and a few games that could be involved in a tiebreaker?

Of course not. 

The SEC will eventually have to go to a nine-game schedule to appease its television partners, and assuming the number of teams in the conference stays at 14, that means that 33 percent of the SEC's games will be cross-division games.

Never going to happen.

 

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