SEC's Mike Slive trumpets baseball (baseball?) and NCAA reform

SEC's Mike Slive trumpets baseball (baseball?) and NCAA reform
Vanderbilt players celebrate after beating Virginia to win the College World Series last month. (Peter Aiken / Getty Images)

Commissioner Mike Slive opened Monday's four-day

Southeastern Conference

football media days with his usual bragging about the league's dominance in ... baseball?

Thank goodness for the


nine, which knocked out


to win this year's College World Series in Omaha.

"The SEC has won the national championship four of the last six years," Slive said of baseball.

For the first time since 2006, however, Slive could not bring another football trophy to the rostrum at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.

Florida State

, of course, of the

Atlantic Coast Conference

, took the last

Bowl Championship Series

title with a 34-31 victory over



"The game was just a minute too long," Slive said.

Florida State's win denied the SEC an eighth straight football title and knocked a little bit of shine off of  Slive's annual "Brag Bag" presentation.

Slive forged boldly ahead, though, invoking the names of Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Tim Tebow at SEC media days, the unofficial annual launch week of the college football season.

Slive was forceful, but not as threatening as in the past, in reiterating the


's need to grant autonomy to the five power football conferences.

"We are not deaf to the din of disconnect across intercollegiate athletics that has dominated the news," Slive said.

Quoting Eisenhower, Slive said: "Neither a wise man or a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him."

This meant: The five major football conferences will consider breaking away from larger Division 1 membership if they are not granted autonomy on issues such as "full cost of attendance," which is set for vote in early August.

"It is critical for the NCAA to change and to change in accordance of the vision proposed for the 21st century by the five conferences," Slive said.