"I don’t think it’s going to change,” Richt said of the SEC rules on how division champions are determined.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, still stinging from beating the Bulldogs last year only to lose out in the division race, came here to the conference’s annual meetings with a plan to change the rules and make only division games count toward the division championship.
“I think every man has a right to his opinion, and if (the rule) gets changed, good for him, I guess,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I don’t know if he’d feel that way every year. This year he’d probably feel good about it. I’m used to what we do. I’m ingrained that every game counts.”
And that was the general sentiment of most of the league Tuesday.
If only division games count, “then we’re not an SEC,” Saban said. “We’re an East and a West, so why would we even play the game?”
SEC commissioner Mike Slive appeared to agree.
“It’s hard for me to think about a conference game that doesn’t count,” Slive said.
Richt touched on several other topics as he met with the media, including college football’s plan to implement a four-team playoff in the near future.
“It would definitely generate a lot of excitement and a lot of revenue for sure,” he said. “I would think the TV stations would be fighting for that opportunity.”
Richt, like every other member of the SEC, wants non-conference champions to be eligible for the four-team playoff, which would allow the conference to get two teams into the four-team field if those teams were ranked among the top four. How those top four teams will be determined has not been decided. Richt believes keeping the current BCS standing formula to determine the top four teams is the best plan, he indicated.
“You wouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel,” he said.
What Richt does not want to see happen is for the playoff to be created and then to gradually expand to the point where it includes 16 teams.
“I think we have to be careful what we wish for,” he said. “If you have too many teams in postseason play, you will do two things: I think the bowl situation will be very difficult to manage, and I think you would diminish the importance of certain games in the regular season. A four-team playoff, I don’t think it blows up the bowl games and I don’t think it would hurt our regular season.”
Richt also addressed his team’s SEC opener, which will be against conference newcomer Missouri. The Tigers finished 12th in the nation last year in total offense, averaging 475 yards per game.
"They are different from most anybody we have played,” he said. “They really spread it out. There are some spread offenses (in the SEC), but (the Tigers) do a lot of five-receiver looks. There will be some challenges for us in identifying what they are doing and determining how to defend it.”