Slive on plus-one format

If the Southeastern Conference is any indication, college football's premier classification is still light-years from adopting a playoff system. However, it appears to be inching ever closer to a plus-one format.

That is based on comments by commissioner Mike Slive at the recent Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

"We in the SEC are very open minded about a plus-one format," he said, "and we plan to carefully evaluate it over the next year."

Essentially, the plus-one system is a compromise proposal that combines elements of the current BCS format and a playoff format. At the conclusion of the current BCS bowls, the top two teams would meet for the national title.

Many playoff enthusiasts are embracing the plus-one idea because they realize a true playoff has virtually no chance of being adopted in the foreseeable future. Too many NCAA heavyweights oppose it, particularly in the SEC. The league's disdain for a playoff system is understandable. After all, the current bowl system brings in millions of dollars for SEC schools each year.

"At the spring meetings in Destin our presidents and chancellors again stated that they oppose a playoff," Slive noted. "At the same time, they authorized Chancellor (Robert) Khayat of Ole Miss – our representative on the BCS presidential oversight committee – to work with me to evaluate, within the structure, whether a change is needed. We will do that."

The commissioner added that three parameters must be observed in order for the SEC to support a plus-one format. Basically, he wants to preserve "the importance of the regular season," while showing "our continued support of the bowl system and our commitment to keep college football a one-semester sport."

A plus-one format would maintain the integrity of the regular season. It would not seriously harm the current bowl system and it would extend the football season by only one week.

The 2006 championship game between Florida and Ohio State was held a week after the other BCS bowls, giving it something of a plus-one flavor.

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