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Report: SEC Eying 4×4 Approach To A&M’s 2012 Schedule

Former Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton — the chairman of the SEC’s transition committee — says the “least-disruptive” schedule plan for 2012′s football schedule involves Texas A&M playing four SEC West and four SEC East opponents.

Templeton told Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News that the 4×4 model “would cause the fewest headaches, particularly since every SEC team’s nonconference schedules is set” (in Solomon’s words).  Here’s what Templeton said of the plan:

“If A&M plays four in one division and four in another, there are probably eight different schedules that could come together off that.  As a former AD, I would prefer the least-disruptive schedule that’s as competitively balanced as possible for one year, know that everybody has to sacrifice a little bit but that we’re fair to our new conference member.  A&M has had as much say as any other school.  They will be involved in how we determine the final concepts.”

Despite the fact that A&M could have a different type of schedule from the rest of its division mates, if the Aggies have the best record, they’ll be heading to Atlanta as division champ.  The league wants A&M to be eligible for the SEC title immediately.

Templeton didn’t rule out a scenario in which each West Division foe would meet (6 games) and each East Division foe would play (5 games), but he said, “mathematically, I don’t think it can be done.”

It could, but it would require a complete re-working of the cross-divisional games.  On that front, Templeton said the SEC is discussing options that might keep or eliminate every school’s cross-divisional permanent rivals for 2012.

Permanent non-divisional rivalries Auburn-Georgia, Tennessee-Alabama and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt are among the oldest rivalries in college football.

“Those are the issue we’ve got to decide,” Templeton told Solomon.  “Right now, everybody’s permanent (foe) is on the 2012 schedule.  Changing the (cross-division) rotation is a concept, but that’s not a preferable concept because it’s going to be very disruptive.  Keep in mind, everything we’re doing is for one year.”

Many of the issues Templeton discussed with Solomon, were first mentioned on this site back on September 27th.  You can read that piece here.

For that post we spoke with a high-ranking MAC official off the record because the MAC has been playing a 13-team schedule for five years.

We were told that the NCAA gave the MAC a waiver to hold a championship game even though it didn’t feature a round-robin schedule as the NCAA rulebook mandates.  This week it was reported elsewhere that the MAC did not seek or receive a waiver, but MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said his league did indeed receive a waiver and got clearance to skirt the rule… just as we initially reported.

Our off-the-record source told us that the MAC’s 13-team schedule worked “so well that we went out and added another football member beginning next year.”  That was the off-the-record comment.  Steinbrecher — on the record — told Solomon: “I won’t say scheduling is the only reason (the league is adding UMass), but it certainly played a role.”

To avoid all this nonsense, the SEC needs to tell Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton to speed things up on his end.  Otherwise, a 13-team schedule will become very, very troublesome for everyone.

And again, this is just about football.  Scheduling other sports will be a royal pain, too.

 


19 comments
btlh2oguy
btlh2oguy

Missouri going to the SEC-East is the easiest fix. It'd give them a year to win the division and head to ATL. Once they are in the West, getting to ATL would take Saban taking the Missouri Job.

Rob
Rob

Which division?

In the 4x4 model, is A&M competing in the SEC-E, SEC-W or both? If both, does that mean the Aggies just have to put up a better SEC record then one of the division champs? What if there's a tie?

Sounds like a pretty good deal for A&M, if true.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

That's one of my questions. I could only see that working if A&M acted as some sort of wildcard winner if they beat out one of the division winners. They'll have to come up with a pretty elaborate set of tiebreakers and it won't be pretty or as fair as it could be, but it should only be for 1 year.

Chad Vidrine
Chad Vidrine

Think LSU will be A&M's new rival and the game may move to Thanksgiving week and the Arky/LSU game will be played earlier in season. Would love to see LSU v Bama a little earlier as well to keep loser in BCs race longer

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Texas just announced that they do not have space to schedule A&M OOC until at least 2018. I think it would be nice if TN plays at Kyle field next year after Thanksgiving. I could give up KY for one year.

Fayettechill14
Fayettechill14

In this case, Arkansas and Texas A&M better be permanent rivals. I'd hate to lose this rivalry, especially with the deal in Jerry World.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

They'll almost certainly be in the same division unless the SEC comes up with some sort of ACC-like random alignment.

Gil
Gil

It's mathematically impossible for every team in the seven-team west to play a round robin division schedule unless they play nine games, no matter how you rework the cross divisional rivalries. And you can't go to nine games across the board with an odd number of teams in the conference (you would have a total of 58.5 games).

Jim Askew
Jim Askew

Relax People. Slive and Co. are going to do this without the disruptions. The long time rivalries will be intact. They are looking at a 1 year schedule if you would read closely. But I still believe that the SEC will find a solution for the 13 team schedule that will keep all the rivalries intact with out any disruption. Relax, some are acting like a bunch of 12 year olds. Wait until they have a plan before you start bashing Slive and the administrators.

atl14dat
atl14dat

Well Said Jim.

Slive and the SEC PTB didn't get where they are today by responding to knee jerk protestations from fans no matter how well meaning.

They(SEC) have to make contingency plans.ie:13 team Conference. I have no doubt though that Missouri will be the 14th team and will likely make it in time to start play alongside A7M no matter how much smokescreen the Big 12 puts out.

Statesman
Statesman

This is not Brady Deaton's call,(Thank God). Brady will come back with information, but it is not his call alone. Mizzou's Board ofCurators meet next Friday (10/21) and at that time they will tell Brady to accelerate the movement.

Bill
Bill

If games like Tennessee - Alabama and especially Georgia - Auburn go away I would personally go find Mike Slive's office and kick down his door just to slap him and tell him how stupid a decision that would be. That's as bad as Bob Stoops saying that he would be okay if the OU - Texas rivalry went away. The one difference that makes college football worth watching over the NFL is traditions, take that away then it's exactly like the NFL and is solely on the money.

Thane
Thane

Once aTm was let in the SEC this was going to happen to some degree . No matter who the 14th team is it will effect rivalry games to a degree .

rmft
rmft

well put

If you need directions, its in downtown Birmingham. I'll meet you there!!!

Clarence
Clarence

Saw a comment on the BN site suggesting that the SEC make A&M play all 12 SEC teams, but let them do it at home. Gives all the SEC teams a view of Aggieland and Kyle Field and will give A&M the #1 strength of schedule in the nation and a full welcome to the SEC!

BYRDDAWG62
BYRDDAWG62

Clemson's good this yr but they haven't been too much for awhile & WV fired their coach last yr! Bring in Missouri,Ok & Ok st! That's the ticket...

Joe
Joe

Is it too late to get Clemson or WV instead. I don't care about the money, I want to see some good football games.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Clemson has no interest in the SEC, nor should they. And the SEC can easily protect their rivalries by going to 9 conference games, which A) they are going to have to do in order to get a competitive TV package with the other conferences, which they need to be financially competitive with other conferences so the good football games will continue in the SEC and B) 9 conference games will increase the "good football games" for you to watch (as the SEC is not known for playing many marquee OOC games).

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Not likely they are going to 9 games next year though. It's going to be hard enough to integrate a new team into the fold without having to find some way for all the teams to buyout one of their OOC games.

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