Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel joined his Southeastern Conference counterparts in Destin, FL for their week long meetings and confirmed there is overwhelming support for a four-team football playoff system to determine a D-I national champion.
Pinkel is convinced they were close to getting something done. “We’re so much closer to having the best teams play,” Pinkel said. “Every single game is so critically important in college football and we should embrace that. You can lose six games, eight games in basketball and still win a national championship. You can’t do that in college football. I think we’re very close.” Pinkel’s been more vocal on this topic. Over the past couple of seasons when Pinkel has been asked, he has never really come out and fully endorsed a playoff, but rather hold back on his opinions and support the current system that has been in place.
The big hangup will be how the BCS conferences agree on finding the four teams. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney says a team shouldn’t be a final four if they don’t win their conference, an obvious knock against Alabama. Pac 12 commish Larry Scott thinks the semifinal games should be played on campuses. SEC commissioner Mike Slive thinks the semis will be part of the bowl system. “My guess is that it will end up being in the bowl system,” Slive said. “I think it’s better for college football as a whole than just a plus-one.”
In other SEC news, they will settle on a football schedule rotation and determine cross division rivalries. That announcement could come as early as Friday. The teams will likely play six division games, maintain one cross-division rival and alternate an eighth conference game among the other six teams from the opposing division.
The designated rivalries are expected to be finalized, too. All indications are Missouri and Arkansas will be cross-division rivals, and South Carolina with Texas A&M.