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Is Jim Delany Scared of the SEC?

Even when he smiles he looks pissed.

If you hadn’t heard yet, it looks like college football is finally heading somewhere we’ve wanted it to for a long time: a post-season playoff to determine the national champion.  What many thought would be impossible five years ago is now becoming a reality, via admittedly small baby steps.

Like most things in college football, the SEC led the way, with commissioner Mike Slive initiating the talks on integrating a playoff into the BCS.  He was met with indifference at first, but the powers-that-be have warmed to the idea over the years, possibly because they turned on a TV and saw that almost everybody that watches college football wants to see a playoff.

Nobody has any idea yet what that playoff will look like, but Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has one condition he’d like placed on the entry requirements: only let conference champs in.

Well, that doesn’t seem so bad.  On its face, this doesn’t seem to discriminate at all against any particular conference.  Actually, it seems pretty fair.  If you’re gonna play for a national championship, you should at least be a “regional” champion, right?  But in its practical application, it has some dubious effects.  Naturally, any given conference can only have one champion (complicated stuff, I know).  So if only conference champions are allowed, and each conference only has one champion, what does that necessarily imply?

Under that system, every conference could only get a maximum of one team into the playoffs, regardless of the second-place team’s ranking.

You may be asking “Why does that terribly grouchy looking old man care about limiting conference representatives?”  The reasoning for that is pretty obvious: Delany doesn’t want the SEC to dominate the playoffs like it has the BCS.  I can’t say I blame him, either.  If I were in his shoes, I’d want to do exactly the same thing.  This champs-only sentiment is likely a direct result of seeing last year’s title game played between two teams from the same conference.  Heck, from the same division.  While people south of the Mason-Dixon thought that was great (until they watched the actual game), pretty much nobody else cared about the championship at all.  But should that mean that the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best team should be excluded from the playoffs just because they’re not the best team in their conference?  As SEC fans, we’d likely say no.  As rational, hopefully fair, human beings, we’d also likely say no.  As someone who doesn’t want to watch LSU get shut out again in one of the worst last games in recent memory, I’d say yes.

Ultimately, Jim Delany’s stipulation only shows his (healthy) fear of the behemoth that is SEC football.  But we can take that as a compliment.  There’s nothing more flattering, and more satisfying, than continually beating someone so badly that they want to force the rules to handicap you, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.  Don’t let any of your Big Ten friends try to tell you otherwise: Delany is pouting on a grand stage.

If this were a playground, he would be one step away from picking up his ball and going home.

Article written by Corey Nichols

37 Comments for Is Jim Delany Scared of the SEC?



  1. Draper
    9:14 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “every conference could only get a maximum of one team into the playoffs”

    God, I’m glad i got up to so I was able to read this. I would never have figured it out on my own. So you’re telling me if only the conference Champion is allowed in, the SEC would only get ONE team in? It is this kind of insightful writing thats really going to let this site take off and achieve great things.



  2. ShagOnSports
    9:14 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    I agree. As a Bama football fan I know that knocks them out last year but make the regular season and conference championship mean something. Even with only one team the SEC will still dominate the event.



  3. JayCee
    9:14 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    This is s a good piece, Corey. Sadly, this news has exactly ZERO effect on UK football. Hell, the SEC could be allowed to berth half the conference into the playoffs and UK still wouldn’t be relevant in this conversation.

    We are UK Football. SMH.



  4. John
    9:14 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    THERE’S GOTTA BE AN EQUAL PROTECTION ARGUMENT HERE, AMIRITE?! At least that’s what whichever law school you go to seems to teach.



  5. JayCee
    9:16 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    1- the point is, if you relegate the berths like that, we still won’t have a true champion every year… just like with the BCS.

    Can you understand that?



  6. Heshimu
    9:18 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Is COACH the UK Fan of the Day???



  7. thenamerobdigity
    9:19 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    The best teams should make it to the playoff. That would mean that if the East won the last 2 SEC championship games (which they didn’t), South Carolina and Georgia would have most likely made the playoff. I don’t get that train of thought. Why not have the best teams make it and not like the dumbest way to determine an NCAA champion, the NCAA basketball tournament? This year was rare where a team won the tournament and were favored to. Were UConn and Duke (the previous 2 champions), the best team all year? No, they just got hot at the right time and both had higher seeded teams lose before they had to play them. In theory a team that didnt win a regular season game could win the tournament. They would win their conference tourney then went to the NCAA and won that.

    I believe there should be 6 teams that make the playoff just like the NFL. That way the 2 highest ranked teams get byes and are rewarded for having a better regular season than the other teams.



  8. jamborain
    9:19 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    I think the format that would actually work would be

    1. All bowls are conference based- bowls are three tiers
    a. 2 game championship played Jan 1 and Jan 8 after results from ..
    b. 4 elimination bowls- based on top 6 champions from (c) plus top two ranked teams
    c. Lots of other bowls between conferences- 6 win eligibility- the games are played the third week of December. Take the win percentage of each conference and those 6 get into level b for the next year. These games are played on a home/home basis
    Results – more money, a real 8 team playoff- bowls are still viable and relevant
    4 teams play one extra game, 2 play two extra games



  9. GATORbait
    9:25 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Why do UK fans care about this? You would never contend to make a 64 team football playoff. Count down the days until basketball season and thanks for the easy wins in the Fall — sincerely, the rest of the SEC



  10. JayCee
    9:28 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Lol, gator fans: Abusing their sliver of relevance since they first got it in the mid 1990’s.



  11. duhville cat
    9:29 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Daaaaaaaammmmmnnnnnn….. them some jacked-up eyebrows.



  12. Andy Rooney
    9:29 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Dude needs to introduce his eyebrows to a mangroomer.



  13. Another Perspective
    9:34 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “Ultimately, Jim Delany’s stipulation only shows his (healthy) fear of the behemoth that is SEC football. But we can take that as a compliment.”

    Nope. Ultimately we know it has nothing to do with “us.” “We” are just along for the ride that is SEC football revenue. Period.



  14. 1st grade student
    9:38 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Corey,
    Thanks for clarifying the “only let conference champs in” statement. I would have never figured out the practical application of this.



  15. RYNO
    9:38 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Also proposed by Delaney, the Big 10 Champion would get to play UK to earn a spot into the NC Game every year.



  16. Bruce Wayne
    9:44 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    1 & 14: That’s exactly what the point of this article was. Only, it wasn’t. Thanks for playing, but unfortunately our states lack of a decent reading comprehension plan rears its ugly head again…

    Delaney is right in the sense that conference champs should be let in, but like others I think it needs to be done NCAAB style. Champs get the autobid, and then a select number of top ranked teams (that did not win conference championship) get at large bids. With 6 BCS conferences, and two at larges, you get 8 teams for a typical playoff.



  17. Azubuike's Bicep
    9:48 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    His eyebrows are marvelous!!…Business on the left, party on the right.



  18. GoCatsGo
    9:49 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “But WE can take that as a compliment.” Did you really say that? Since when have we accomplished anything in football to take any credit for the success of the SEC? We sound like UofL fans now taking credit for UConn’s national championship in basketball.



  19. Steve
    9:49 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    You need to look at the rest of his proposal. Conference champions only ,are it to the playoff but they have to be in the top six of the final bcs. Last year both Alabama and lsu would have been in the playoff because there weren’t three other conference champions in the top six. In fact, the major conference left out would have been the BIG TEN, in Jim delaney’s own proposal.



  20. Pelphrey4life
    9:55 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    You know what scares me? The dudes bushy eyebrows.



  21. Pelphrey4life
    9:56 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    He looks like Craig T. Nelson after a night of methamphetamine and regretable choices.



  22. Draper
    10:10 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “Under that system, every conference could only get a maximum of one team into the playoffs, regardless of the second-place team’s ranking.” This is not correct.

    19.) Is right. Corey at least look up more than just one post on an issue before writing about it. The actual proposal is to let the a conference champion ranked in the top 6 in. That does not mean it is a requirement to be a conference champion. Last years playoff would have been LSU, Alabama, Stanford, and Ok. State.



  23. corey strikes again
    10:33 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “WE” can take it as a compliment? You are either deluisional or just plain stupid. UK will NEVER sniff a national championship. At least BTI tried to piss people off in this slot and stir things up, I’m pretty sure you are just clueless.



  24. HicksPickSix
    10:53 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    “Hmm… what should I write about today? Since I routinely get criticized/blasted for writing pieces about topics I clearly know nothing about (the NBA, recruiting, etc), let me try my hands at summarizing an article I found on the internet at 8:45 this morning! No one can call me out on this one…” – Corey Nichols’ thought process



  25. MustacheMan
    11:09 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously though…when has UK imposed fear in any opponent in football? SEC pride sure, but UK really shouldn’t care at all what kind of playoffs or non-playoffs there are for a National Champion in football.



  26. TN Cat
    11:29 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    I think this goes back to a few years ago when Michigan and Ohio St. were #1 and #2 in the country and played a 41-38 game and Michigan didn’t get a second shot but Alabama did get a second shot against LSU after playing a 9-6 game. That hasn’t been forgotten in the Big 10.



  27. BooCat
    11:30 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Corey is the new BTI however, he really think Corey sucks! #hejustdoesntcare



  28. chiddarcheddar
    11:46 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Uncle Leo??? I don’t care for your demeanor.



  29. kentucky1159
    12:06 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Damn. Why is there so much hate directed at Corey. This is SEC news so regardless of our football teams ability, it is still interesting to read. We all cheer for an SEC champion in the national title game because it brings recognition to our conference. I consider myself part of the SEC and I take pride when our conference dominates sports (football, basketball, baseball, etc.). I guess the guise of anonymity has given everyone here big giant balls.



  30. Dee
    12:32 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t over think things folks…..very simple….The top 8 BCS teams battle it out on the field…..and…College Football would have it’s first true champion….like I said…simple.



  31. Dee
    12:34 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    25….we did in the 50’s….



  32. Dee
    12:37 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    AND….To everyone bashing Corey……all I can say is……YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.



  33. thenamerobdigity
    1:51 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    30. A true champion is the best throughout the whole year and not just for a couple games. The whole season should matter. Also, there should be a strong attempt of keeping out some of those small conference teams that play an undeserving schedule. The teams with the best regular season should be rewarded for their accomplishments by getting a bye or at the very least a home game.



  34. LA
    2:00 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    If he wants to stop the sec all he has to do is put that left eyebrow on the goal line it would stop anything.



  35. BigBlueKyle
    5:47 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    That’s ridiculous. This is directly aimed at the SEC. Only conference champs? Really? So that means we would have a playoff and have to watch a 4 or 5 loss ACC team get drilled?



  36. People are stupid.
    9:56 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    How are people still making asinine posts like #35? Delany said that each team must be in the top six of the rankings. Thus, if four conference champions are not found in the top six, a second team from one conference can be entered.

    Qualifying Conference Champs:
    1. LSU
    3. OK State
    4. Stanford

    Non-Qualifying Champs:
    7. Boise
    10. Wisconsin
    11. VT

    Non-Champs:
    2. Alabama
    5. Oregon
    6. Arkansas

    Thus, the #2 overall gets the 4th spot. I think it sounds like a great system.



  37. Sacwoo
    11:31 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you suck!