The current four-team CFP format is set to last until 2025, so the 12-team playoff proposal announced last summer would have required an 11-0 vote for any changes to be made by then. .
The 12-team proposal was gaining momentum before the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 formed an “Alliance” last summer following the surprise announcement that Texas and Oklahoma would join the SEC no later than 2025.
The three conferences of the Alliance have blocked approval of a 12-team proposal since, perhaps fearing a 16-member SEC would have a competitive advantage for general offers.
SEC teams have won 12 of the last 16 national championships and would like to keep that momentum going.
Alabama coach Nick Saban pointed out that with a nine-game schedule, SEC teams will face five top-15 teams and may be on the wrong side of the competitive balance compared to other conferences.
NIL Confusion Reigns
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher says ‘the answer is there is no answer’, largely due to lack of consistency in state laws and NCAA challenges to enforce existing rules.
“The thing you have to have is consistency,” Fisher said Wednesday. “It must be concrete at all levels.”
The NCAA said NIL agreements are not meant to be used as recruiting incentives, but some state laws allow high school students to negotiate agreements.
In April, Tennessee lawmakers updated their NIL laws to give their state universities an edge over others by allowing NIL groups to talk to school officials as well as recruits.
Florida freshman coach Billy Napier has the best summary of the current state of NIL and its issues.
“There’s a ton of gray areas in terms of what you can do, what you can’t do,” Napier said Tuesday. “There is no manual, there are no parameters, there are no guidelines. To some extent, we live in a country without laws. It continues to be a fluid situation.
Napier pointed out that players still eligible who didn’t use the one-time transfer waiver the NCAA granted last summer are free agents: “The reality is that we don’t have contracts and we don’t we have no cap.”
UGA Football Sitting Pretty
Georgian football and administration have never been stronger against other members of the conference, reigning as national champions at a time of transition where a program’s momentum and financial model mean more than ever. .
The UGA has as much or more control over the direction of collegiate athletics than any program with President Jere Morehead serving as SEC Chairman and holding positions on the NCAA’s most influential committees, the board of governors and the board of directors.
At a time when only four of the 14 SEC coaches from the 2019 SEC Spring Meetings were still holding jobs at their same institutions, Georgia has the youngest of the four in Kirby Smart, 46. Saban (70), Fisher (56) and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops (54) are the others.
UGA athletic director Josh Brooks brings more youngsters (42) into the equation, but Brooks’ football-related experiences give him even more of an edge. Brooks worked under Saban and Fisher as an equipment manager and student assistant at LSU and has eight years of experience as director of football operations at Louisiana-Monroe (2004-08) and UGA under Mark Richt ( 2008-11).
Georgia is set to lock down Smart with what is believed to be a 10-year contract worth more than $100 million and recently announced $68.5 million in stadium upgrades and improvements of Sanford.
Additionally: The SEC, while it hasn’t made a decision on its future schedule model, has announced some changes to league tournament formats, including basketball:
• During the SEC men’s basketball regular season, each team will face two permanent opponents (instead of three), with 12 opponents remaining in singles competitions as part of an 18-game league slate.
• For the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 16 teams will compete in a knockout format consistent with the current model, but with two additional games. The top four ranked teams will receive byes to the first two rounds.
• For SEC women’s basketball, each team will face a rotating home and away opponent, plus 14 opponents remaining in singles competitions for a 16-game league slate.
• For the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the 16 teams will compete in a single-elimination format, consistent with the current model but with two additional games. The top four ranked teams will receive a bye to the first two rounds.
• For the softball regular season, teams will play three-game series against eight rotating opponents.
• For the SEC Softball Tournament, all teams will compete in a knockout format consistent with the current format but with two additional games.
• For the SEC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, all teams will compete in a single-elimination format, with the top four seeds receiving a bye to the first two rounds of the tournament.
• For the SEC Soccer Championship, 12 teams will compete in a single-elimination format, with the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye.