SEC commissioner Mike Slive kicked off SEC Media Days 2012, his first such gathering as the commish of a conference with newly acquired members, with comments on the past decade in the SEC. He's been in charge for a decade now, in case that cutoff feels inconsequential.
In welcoming Texas A&M and Missouri, Slive talked up the nationally televised home openers against Florida and Georgia, respectively. The new guys could very well win those games. In order to make 14-team scheduling work, Slive said "every school gave up something."
The most important note: he quoted William Shakespeare, Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill, and Obi-Wan Kenobi ("May the views be with you"). We got academics down here, y'all!
The march to a four-team playoff began in 2004 when Auburn was left out of the title game, Slive said, declaring it "good for the SEC and for college football," claiming that "there was a lot of give-and-take." The SEC did not appear to do very much giving. He also thanked Bill Hancock, years-long punching bag, for his "patient stewardship."
The Champions Bowl's inaugural game is set for Jan. 1, 2015. (Yep, it's still going by the Champions Bowl.)
He touted the conference's academics and athletic successes, noting a league that had never had minority coaches before now has three in football alone. Was money mentioned? Money was indeed mentioned -- conference revenue has tripled since 2002, we've learned. With all that money flowing in, Slive again recommended the NCAA allow players to receive full-cost scholarships.
As for where even more of that money's gonna come from, Slive said, "Project X is now Project SEC." He's referring to the impending SEC television network of course, a money hose soon to rival the Big Ten Network.
"We must remain ever-vigilant on issues of integrity," Slive said, with a very obvious elephant sneaking into the room at the moment, in addition to the ever-present homemade Alabama mascots. (They are not actually here yet.)