Enter SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. Slive heads up America's best collegiate sports conference and is on an all-time high as he described in his opening statement at SEC Media Days.
"These are good times to be the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. For the first time in history we had --- all in the same year --- national championships in Football, Women's Basketball and Men's Basketball. And in Men's Basketball we've done it two years in a row. As if this wasn't enough, conference teams have won five more national championships; Men's Swimming, Women's Swimming, Bowling, Gymnastics and Men's Tennis. These eight National Championships were won by five different SEC institutions. This means that we won National Championships in over one-third of the sports the SEC sponsors."
Slive went on to point out that the SEC sent nine football teams to bowl games and that 159 SEC teams went on to post-season play, which is roughly 75 percent of all SEC teams.
Slive has just completed five years heading up the SEC and he is particularly proud that league schools that were routinely under NCAA sanctions or investigations for much of the ‘80's and ‘90s are now winning while doing things the right way. It was, no doubt a message to new Alabama Coach Nick Saban who rankled SEC officials in an article in the Birmingham paper Wednesday that implored SEC coaches not to tell on each other.
Slive also addressed a report from last week that said there was growing support for a "plus-one" football playoff game in the future. However, Slive pointed out that the article was way ahead of the process that is laid out.
"We in the SEC are very open-minded about the plus-one format, and we plan to carefully evaluate it over the next year. At our spring meetings in Destin, our Presidents and Chancellors again stated they oppose a playoff. At the same time, they authorized Chancellor (Robert) Khayat of Ole Miss who is our representative on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee to work with me to evaluate within the structure whether a change if needed. We will do that keeping in mind the parameters I have re-iterated to you over and over again, which are: the importance of the regular season, our continued support of the bowl system and our continuing commitment to keep college football a one semester sport."
It's good to be Mike Slive right now. While other commissioners are meeting with FBI agents, steroid experts and members of PETA, the SEC Commissioner is walking tall, smiling wide and welcoming more than 800 media members to the biggest pre-season media gathering in all of sports.