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Luck says playoff with four best teams is ‘the American way’

Oliver Luck AP

Finally, SEC commissioner Mike Slive has some support in the playoff selection format. Whether that support is eventually echoed by the rest of college football’s power brokers remains to be seen.

Appearing at his first Big 12 spring meetings, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said he favors a playoff that places the four best teams in the field… regardless of whether they won their conference or not.

“In my mind, I think the four best teams have to be the four best teams,” Luck said. “That’s the American way.”


[/launches fireworks]

[/eats hot dog]

Luck’s stance is contrary to what many of the current “Big 6” conferences have voiced, although the Big 12 has come out in favor of the “four highest ranked teams” model. Officially, the ACC, Big Ten, Big East and Pac-12 have cast their vote for a conference champions-only model; the Big 12 and SEC for the “four best teams” model. With the last BCS championship game consisting of two SEC schools, it should be no surprise that the immediate reaction from other conferences would be to level the playing field as much as possible.

But don’t dismiss some variation of the idea proposed by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany earlier this month that mixes conference champs and at least one at-large bid. That compromise could very well suit Slive just fine and has already been endorsed by the other most powerful commissioner in college athletics.

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11 Responses to “Luck says playoff with four best teams is ‘the American way’”
  1. drummerhoff says: May 30, 2012 10:05 PM

    There is a “Big 6”?

    The Big East’s opinion matters as much as CUSA’s, but for arguements sake, why would
    these conference favor the conference champs model? How is the Big East champ going to get a seat at the table? Don’t they have a better chance of finishing the regular season in the top 4?

  2. fcmlefty1 says: May 30, 2012 10:12 PM

    I guess I missed that part of the “American way” in sports. Seems to me that every other sports playoff in North America is based strictly on results of the current season and in no way are based on opinions, many of which are 20 years outdated.

  3. drummerhoff says: May 30, 2012 11:30 PM

    The conference champs only model demishing the importance of the regular season.
    What if 6-6 UCLA won?

    Botton line: TV will pay huge money only if the best 4 teams play it off. Any other option is leaving money on the table.

  4. kozbee says: May 30, 2012 11:56 PM

    And how will Luck figure the 4 best teams,i hope not by losses but by wins thru SOS (strength of schedule). I see a bad moon arisn.


  5. fcmlefty1 says: May 31, 2012 7:22 AM

    “Botton line: TV will pay huge money only if the best 4 teams play it off. Any other option is leaving money on the table.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong. TV won’t ever pay its biggest dollars for something that doesn’t capture the attention of NY, BOS and LA. They aren’t going to pay the biggest dollars for something that Slive is greedily trying to keep strictly in the southeast. This years abysmal NCG ratings are all the fuel the TV exec’s need for thier argument.

    But the deal really boils down to this: Slive is dang near guaranteed to get 2 teams in the playoffs in the 3+1 to start with, because even if the SEC somehow slipped, it’ll take a decade for the voters to accept it as the new reality. He’s short-sightedly and greedily trying to manipulate it to get 3.

  6. thraiderskin says: May 31, 2012 11:38 AM

    8 teams or you are wasting our time… If you’re going to do it, might as well do it right the first time. I love how people think anyone beyond the top four are scrub teams, they’re not, Top 8.

  7. blendedwhiskey says: May 31, 2012 1:08 PM

    I agree with the 8 team concept. I want to see a legitimate playoff system that crowns an undisputed national champion. Get the best 8 teams into the playoffs and leave the politics and the money grab out of it!! These conference commissioners are only protecting their own turf and could care less what college football fans want. Why are they making this process so complicated?

  8. bertenheim says: May 31, 2012 1:31 PM

    Four teams is plenty. There will never be eight teams that have a legitimate claim to be the best that season. Eight dilutes the importance of the season.

  9. blendedwhiskey says: May 31, 2012 2:43 PM

    There are always a lot of 1-loss teams that should be considered as playoff teams, even some undefeated teams in years past that didn’t get a shot at the national championship game. If we make it only a 4-team playoff, that will surely leave out some very strong teams and the fans will be grumbling again. We will have the same broken model that we have now.

  10. bertenheim says: May 31, 2012 2:58 PM

    Let’s make it a 32 team playoff. Or 64. Hell, let’s abolish the regular season. Make it like kindergarten – everyone gets in.

  11. 2009minnesotaviqueens says: May 31, 2012 5:53 PM

    Gotta fix the smoke and mirrors way we rank the teams first…4 best teams aren’t necessarily the ones ranked from 1-4…gotta fix the stupid ranking system first.

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