SEC football continues to dominate the off-season

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive says NCAA needs to grant the power five conferences more autonomy

The Southeastern Conference is so dominant in football that even its off-seasons are more exciting than all the other leagues'.

The SEC ended a flashbulb fling on Friday in Florida with Commissioner Mike Slive's state of the union speech to close the league's annual spring meetings.

Slive ratcheted up the pressure by saying the NCAA needs to grant the five power conferences more autonomy in August, or the football leagues might form their own division.

This wasn't new news but a reiteration that the commissioners of the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Big 12 are serious. The NCAA is expected to grant the power five a broader spectrum of autonomy apart from the 22 leagues that don't play major-level football.

If the NCAA doesn't act, Slive told reporters they should call him in August. ESPN's Brett McMurphy quoted Slive as saying, "This is a historic moment. If we don't seize the moment, we'll make a mistake."

The SEC also announced revenues of $309.6 million last year, almost double its 2009 figure of $165.9 million. Each SEC school will receive a nearly $21-million share of that pie.

Everywhere you looked the SEC has been making news:

—The league last month voted to stick with an eight-game league schedule despite the fact the Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12 will all be playing nine conference games by 2016.

Auburn is on a quest to become college football's greatest dynasty from February through August by claiming ownership of national titles from years gone past. The Tigers used retroactive rankings to put official dibs on titles from 1913 (universally conceded to Harvard), 1983 (move over Miami) and 1993 (claimed unanimously until now by Florida State). Auburn finished 11-0 in 1993 but was on probation and ineligible for postseason play.

Auburn is now setting it sights on 2004, the year it finished undefeated but ended up third in the BCS standings. USC defeated Oklahoma for the championship but has since had to vacate the BCS crown because of NCAA violations.

Former Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville said the school "absolutely" should claim the 2004 championship.

At this rate, Auburn could pass Alabama in titles by July 4.

—Auburn also did something very cool. It painted on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium a dotted yellow line tracing the path of Chris Davis' remarkable 109-yard return of a missed field goal that gave the Tigers victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

—The SEC voted to allow blaring music to be played during football games at all times except when the quarterback is under center until the ball is whistled dead by the officials.


The SEC, even in the off-season, continues to crank up the volume.

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