Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

SEC puzzles over college football playoff formats

SANDESTIN — By the end of this week's SEC Spring Meetings, commissioner Mike Slive said he hopes to take an official stand on the league's position concerning a football playoff.

"I think our league, what we need to decide while we're here is do we support the four-team playoff?" Slive said. "And I think, at least based on preliminary discussions, I know our coaches feel that way. Exactly how it's done, where it's done, is something to be determined."

The league's coaches, athletic directors, presidents and chancellors will decide myriad issues this week, including playoffs, and how best to handle football and basketball scheduling in its new 14-team league. Does the league stay at eight league games in football? Should conference champions be decided based on divisional play or remain in its current format where all league games count?

"All of that has to be resolved by our presidents and chancellors before we leave on Friday," Slive said.

While the potential football playoff is dominating discussions among football coaches, the basketball coaches are trying to determine what's best for their teams in the expanded SEC. The league has discussed an 18-game schedule, but developing a format is proving to be a difficult task.

The league ended divisional play last season, but Florida coach Billy Donovan said finding a viable solution to the expanded schedule will not be easy. "The whole thing becomes very, very complicated once you start bringing in other schools, trying to balance the schedule, trying to make it fair," Donovan said. "… Anything you throw out right now, model-wise, you're going to be able to poke holes through and say this is not right, this is better. I think you're going to have arguments on both sides."

BALL MAY RETURN: UF sophomore LB Neiron Ball has one last medical hurdle to clear in order to return from a near career ending injury. Ball missed last season after having surgery for a ruptured blood vessel on his brain. "He's still got to get through the roster-list clearings," coach Will Muschamp said. "I think he's got one more appointment with the doctor to clear up any last minute things, but I think he should be fine. He's in Gainesville."

Muschamp said he's also optimistic LB Ronald Powell will play this season after having surgery in late April for a torn ACL.

TUCKER ALL-CONFERENCE: Former Plant standout Preston Tucker is among four Gators honored as first-team All-SEC baseball selections, chosen by the league's coaches — the most since 1991. Tucker joined P/DH Brian Johnson, P Steven Rodriguez and C Mike Zunino on the first team. Junior SS Nolan Fontana was a second-team selection, and 3B Josh Tobias made the All-Freshman team. Tucker and Fontana have been All-SEC selections three times.

Antonya English can be reached at

SEC puzzles over college football playoff formats 05/29/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.