Chuck Neinas is throwing his hat in a ring that's growing more and more popular as conference leaders and officials make their anti-SEC opinion known. While he's the interim commish of the Big 12, Neinas recently remarked that only conference champions should be allowed if college football were to go to a playoff format. In other words, everyone is wanting to avoid another Alabama-LSU match-up.
"I like the idea, if you're going to take four, take four champions," Neinas told Berry Tramel. "They're not hard to identify. The selection process is one that would concern me. The easiest is taking four conference champions."
Others like Larry Scott of the Pac-12 have already chimed in saying the same thing. But that assumes that competition levels across the board in conferences are even and that's just not true. Yet Neinas insisted it was the way to go.
"Looking at it very broadly, we've agreed, we've got to do something to maintain public interest," Neinas said. "We want a vibrant postseason. We have to explore ideas that will make it better. There's obviously strong support of a four-team arrangement."
Tramel agreed and wrote, "I've got to tell you. This is very unsettling. College football leaders talking with wisdom. It's so rarely happened throughout history, I don't know quite how to respond. But the idea of a four-team playoff, with conference champions only — maybe you set a criteria for independent Notre Dame, maybe you don't — would be a fantastic development."
Everyone is in favor of a playoff, but it's not so simple as cutting off everyone but the conference champion. Certainly the power of the SEC will force such a simple system to be tweaked. If not, the playoff still will not represent the best teams in the country no matter how you want to slice it. This last season proved that.