DESTIN, Fla. — South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier continues to pitch his proposal to count only intra-division games in deciding the SEC East and SEC West champions.
That way, Spurrier said, “you’d have a true division champion to play the other division champion” in the SEC title game.
Spurrier raised the idea after his Gamecocks went undefeated against SEC East opponents last season, but finished second behind Georgia in the division because of two losses to SEC West foes.
Spurrier said several SEC coaches support his proposal, which was discussed on the first day of the league’s annual spring meetings here. But the proposal seems an extreme longshot at best.
“I think that will be brought to the table for athletic directors to think about,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. But asked his opinion of the proposal, Slive said: “I think it’s hard for me to think about a conference game that doesn’t count.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt good-naturedly rejected Spurrier’s proposal.
“I think every man has a right to his opinion,” Richt said. “If it gets changed, then good for him, I guess, this year. I don’t know if he’d feel that way every year, but [based on last season] he’d probably feel good about it.
“I don’t think it’s going to change. I’ve always said, for me personally, tell me what the rules are at the beginning of the year and let’s go play by them.”
The current system penalizes in the SEC East standings the teams that play the stronger cross-division opponents, Spurrier argued, citing Tennessee’s annual game against Alabama.
LSU coach Les Miles previously has agreed with Spurrier’s position. But Alabama coach Nick Saban said that under Spurrier’s proposal, “then we’re really not an SEC. We’re really just an East and a West. So why would we even play the games?”