Blog Entry

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:22 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mike Slive and the SEC have stated (on multiple occasions) that the league's 2012 schedule is a stopgap solution before more permanent answers to the questions of cross-divisional rivalries and rotations are established in 2013. But according to conference official Larry Templeton, there's one thing that won't change in the schedule between 2012 and 2013: the number of games in it.

Templeton, chair of the SEC's transition team, confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at Missouri Monday that the conference will not be considering moving to a nine-game schedule in 2013 ... or ever.

"We're not going to nine," he said. "The competitiveness in our league week-to-week is just too strong. It would be an easier scheduling format, but I don't think it would be fair to our players or our coaches."

In November, South Carolina president Harris Pastides said the league planned to move to a nine-game slate, but that claim was quickly shot down by the league and Slive himself, who said in December he didn't "sense any interest" from member schools in adding an additional league game.

Assuming the SEC sticks with Templeton's assertion that a nine-game schedule is off the table, the league faces a difficult catch-22. With six of the eight games already guaranteed to be divisional games (thanks to the 14-team expansion and seven teams in each division), only two will be devoted to cross-divisional contests. Make one of those a permanent cross-divisional rival and rotate through home-and-home series in the last remaining slot, and non-rival teams in opposite divisions will play each other just twice in a span of 12 years. Give both slots over to rotations, and suddenly some the bedrock rivalries of the league -- Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee, to name the two most prominent -- are no longer annual affairs.

"That is a huge question that has not been answered ... It will be an interesting debate," Templeton said. "I think anything else is on the table for discussion. We're going to have to make some tough decisions. Are we going to stay with the permanent opponent, and then how are we going to rotate that one other game?"

One possible solution would be for some teams (like the Tide and Vols, or Tigers and Bulldogs) to keep their permanent cross-division rival while the others have both their East-West games rotate. But that could prove unnecessarily complicated, and would still force those teams with permanent rivals to see opposite-division teams exceedingly rarely. 

Of course, there are some positives to sticking with an eight-game schedule; teams with annual nonconference rivalries like South Carolina (with Clemson) or Florida (with Florida State) will find it much easier to maintain those with four non-league games available, and the capacity to schedule an extra "paycheck game" will greatly aid the league's lower-rung teams in reaching bowl eligibility. 

But already, many SEC fans would say the conference's traditional powers -- say, Alabama and Florida, or LSU and Georgia, or old rivals Auburn and Tennessee -- don't play often enough. The most likely outcome of an eight-game schedule is that games between those teams would become even more scarce. Expansion may boost the league's bottom line if its forthcoming post-14-team TV negotiations prove fruitful, but it will still come at a price, and games like this past two season's showdowns between the Tide and Gators look like they'll going to be that price.

HT: Get the Picture. 

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Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:30 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Oops, 2014 sched is BYU & UCLA. At least some sec'ers ackhowledge the moneu aspect, while ignoring the advantage of additional home games and the poll voters not noticing the fewer quality opp's.<br />

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:57 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

You sec'ers use the polls when it suits your purpose and either ignore it or call it inaccurate when it makes you fans uncomfortable. You are also idnorant of UT's future OOC. It's superior to the average sec OOC. 2012 Miss(a sec team willing to play), 2013 Miss & BYU, 2014 BYU & Miss, 2015 Notre Dame & Cal, 2016 ND & Cal, 2017 & 2018 Maryland & USC. And most importantly, no FCS teams. Name a sec team with a similar sched, you can't.<br />

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2012 9:36 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Here's a breakdown of the SEC 2012 non-conference schedule

52 games

12 v BCS (3=Nutrual, 5=Road, 4=Home)

24 v Non-AQ (4=Road, 20=Homes - Combined 2011 record 107-186)

16 v FCS (16=home)

Total of 12 non-home games (3 Netrual, 9 Road)

Total miles traveled combined 3699 (an average of 275 miles per team)

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 9:18 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

These SEC teams would rather schedule an FCS team late in the season, so they won't risk their poll positions, rather than moving to a nine game schedule.

What a bunch of cowards!

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:52 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

vanger, it's funny how you ignore Texas beating Arkansas in 2008, 52-10. BYU was also ranked ahead of PSU in the Final AP and Coaches Poll for 2011
Forgive me for not mentioning the 5-7 2008 Arkansas team that got blown out by most good teams (Alabama beat them by essentially the same score that year, but Bama played AT Arkansas and Texas had them at home) as a quality OOC game. BYU? All their wins were against pretty much very bad teams. Penn State played in the Big 10. Penn State had the same regular season record, but played MANY more tough games than BYU, plus finished the season under an emotional cloud and played their bowl game without their starting QB, and having their second HC of the season fired. That was a far cry from the Penn State team Bama played early in the season. Bama scheduled a team with a quality history. Historically, Arkansas is pretty up and down. How do I know this. Throughout the history of the two programs, PSU wins 69% of their games, Arkansas wins 59%. BTW, BYU wins only 57% of their games historically, and against MUCH weaker opposition on the average than either Ark or PSU.

So, you were really serious about that comment? If so, all I have to say is that like SO MANY who post here, you need to learn something about football. ROFL


Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2012 5:14 am

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

What is this about bedrock rivalries.  I grew up in SEC country long ago.  Since the 1950's the bedrock rivalry of the SEC is Alabama/Auburn, period, no matter how late it was that Dennis Dodd discovered this rivalry.

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:56 pm

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

The SEC won't go to a 9 game schedule for one reason, money.

Money is the same reason the entire conference will travel all of 3699 miles for non-conference games.

Money is the reason they will never allow a playoff

Money = SEC

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:09 pm

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Whatever.  The SEC is not going to nine games, just as any other conference should not, simply because there would be (1) an inequity in home/away games.  With nine conf. games obviously a team would have 5H/4A or 5A/4H. 
so what?  you rotate year year who gets 5 away and 4 home.  that's all.  not exactly some brain racking dilemna.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:06 pm

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Why would going to only 3 non con games, mean that their would be no jerry world great matchups anymore.  are you suggesting that alabama couldnt play michigan and 9 sect teams in the same season?   are you suggesting that all 3 non cons would need to be cupcakes?    sounds like you are saying the sec A.D.s are cowards.   If I was a Bama fan I would be insulted by that.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:00 pm

SEC official: 'We're not going to nine' games

Of course not.   Why give up those late season games against Georgia Southern or Citadel???   Got to hand it to the sec commish.  he is clever.  have 1 of your 4 non con matchups late in the season.  that way bama can play georgia southern, and get a gimme win while preparing ahead for the next week.  makes it more likely  for your conf. favor to make it to the championship game.   by 2012 though, the pac, big 10 and big 12 will all have 9 game conf. schedules, and only 3 non con games. 

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