Steve Spurrier wants SEC champions to be decided by divisional play only
As the SEC football coaches gathered this week at the league's spring meetings, among the topics is a growing debate over how to best determine the SEC champs.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is a strong proponent of a system in which conference champions are decided based only on divisional play. Last season, the Gamecocks won all of its SEC East games, but losses to SEC West teams Arkansas and Auburn kept South Carolina from an SEC East title.
"There was a time when everybody played each other, then the team with the best record was the league champion.'' Spurrier said. "And now with the mega-conferences, everybody can’t play each other. And sometimes scheduling might be the reason you win the division or could even win a conference championship.I think it would be a way to continue some of the truly great rivalries in college football. The biggest one I think about is Tennessee and Alabama. They are different divisions, and for (UT coach) Derek Dooley to play them every year, it sort or hurts his chance to win the Eastern Division because Alabama has been one of the best in the country year-in-and-year out. So the smart thing, if Tennessee is position to win their division, they’d probably like to play a lesser team than Alabama. So that’s the reason you could play your other (league) games early, and then just play all your division games after that. And you’d have a true division champion play a true other division champion.''
LSU coach Les Miles has thrown his support behind controversial proposal, but several coaches said Wednesday the plan is not likely to pass this week.
“I’m not for that for the simple reason I’d have a hard time losing to an Eastern Division team that loses two Western Conference games, and
they are going to go play in the SEC Championship,’’ Florida coach Will Muschamp said. “An SEC game is an SEC game to me. That’s just the way I feel. I know it didn’t help him this year, in the sense of winning the SEC East, but losing two on the other side. I totally understand his frustration. But I think an SEC game needs to count for an SEC game, that’s my personal opinion.’’