Hoover, Ala.--The 2007 SEC Media Days got underway Wednesday at The Wynfrey Hotel in the usual fashion as the SEC Commissioner gave his usual State of the SEC Address to open the festivities.
Fifth-year SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was up front about his and the conference beliefs in a football playoff down the road in college football. While the talk has heated up about a possible playoff system, Slive says the SEC is taking things slowly but right now he favors a system that would give a team like Auburn in 2004 a fighting chance at the end of the season.
"In January at a meeting of football writers in Phoenix I reiterated what I had said a year before," Slive says. "We in the SEC are very open-minded about a Plus-One format. We plan to carefully evaluate it over the next year. In our spring meetings in Destin our presidents and chancellors again stated they oppose a playoff.
"They did propose that Chancellor (Larry) Khayat to work with me to evaluate whether a change is needed," he adds. "We'll do that but keeping in mind the parameters I have reiterated over and over again which are the importance of the regular season, the continued importance of the bowl season and our commitment to keep college football a one semester sport."
Slive was very proud of the numbers produced by the Southeastern Conference in the last school year. The SEC won eight national championships and was the first conference in history to win national titles in football, women's basketball and men's basketball. Auburn's wins in men's and women's swimming and championships in gymnastics, men's tennis and bowling round out one of the most successful years in SEC history.
For the 26th consecutive year, the Southeastern Conference led the nation in football attendance with an average of 75,000 fans at each home game. That was an average of 96 percent capacity for the league and added up to a total of 6.5 million fans in SEC stadiums last season.
The SEC doesn't lack for coverage and this year it appears it will be more than ever as over 800 people are expected to be in attendance at media days this year as the SEC kicks off its 75th anniversary campaign this year, the largest group ever. Over 600 of those are credentialed media with another 25 radio stations broadcasting live from radio row in the lobby of the Wynfrey.