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SEC’s Bloom Says 8-Game Schedule For SEC

SEC public relations ace Charles Bloom — deluged with questions about a nine-game football schedule no doubt — has taken to Twitter to write the following:


“#SEC will continue to play eight conference games in football.  There has been no discussions on nine game schedule.”


So did University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides give false information to his own school’s student newspaper?  Did he simply give his opinion?  Did Josh Dawsey, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Gamecock misunderstand Pastides meaning?

Considering the fact that Dawsey relays quite a bit of detailed information from Pastides — ex: “The president guaranteed USC would keep its annual matchup with Arkansas.” — it’s doubtful that Dawsey was reading into things. 

It’s also unlikely that Pastides just flat-out lied to a reporter for the USC student paper.  He’s been quoted in that publication quite often in recent weeks — on sports topics — and we can’t recall any problems like this arising in the past.

So we suspect the SEC office might be making sure that everyone’s unanimous regarding schedules moving forward.  Schools like Florida and Georgia and Arkansas and Texas A&M, who play at neutral sites, would stand to possibly lose a bit more cash from the loss of another home date every other year.  Those schools’ presidents probably need a bit more coaxing and cajoling when it comes to a nine-game schedule.

But as we pointed out here, the most likely path for a 14-team SEC is one that leads to a nine-game schedule.  Unless the league is cooking up some sort of free-for-all plan, the best way to insure balance, the continuation of old rivalries, and regular matchups between all league foes is to move to a nine-game schedule. 

Bloom’s comment?  We think it’s spin control.  The SEC doesn’t want one president to say a deal’s done before all 14 presidents have OK’d said deal.

Do you really believe 13 SEC presidents just voted to add another school without anyone ever asking what that move would mean for scheduling?  For travel?  For home game revenues?  So it’s pretty hard to believe there have been “no discussions.”

And for how many weeks did SEC officials claim that they were considering a 13-team schedule only for 2012… only to have an ESPN executive and then Mike Slive himself admit otherwise?

The league will go to nine-games just like all the other BCS leagues are planning to do.  It’s as sure a thing as Missouri’s entry into the SEC was.  An eight-game schedule will hurt the league long-term.  Slive has to know that.  Pastides knows that.  It’s our bet a few more presidents just need convincing of that. 

We now expect Pastides to try to somehow distance himself from his earlier comments for the purpose of maintaining league harmony.  But that won’t change the fact that a nine-game schedule is coming at some point.

 


19 comments
Topwaterpig
Topwaterpig

I agree you ought to see the other teams in the opposite division more often than every decade. My problem with a 9 game schedule is that in a tight divisional race, the difference could be made by which team had rotated into their year to have 5 home games and 4 away games and which had 4 home games and 5 away games. It all balances out over time I suppose, and there are already years when the divisional race can be influenced by who gets to host a particular team or who actually avoids a particular team on the schedule. But 5 away games in this conference every other year is a pretty daunting prospect.

BGL
BGL

SEC should have stayed at 12 schools. Travel nightmares for minor sports, and scheduling complications for all sports. 12 is large enough. 14 is too unwieldy.

rsosalind
rsosalind

It’s also unlikely that Pastides just flat-out lied to a reporter for the USC student paper. He’s been quoted in that publication quite often in recent weeks — on sports topics — and we can’t recall any problems like this arising in the past.
chc20111108jw
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medloh
medloh

Here's a crazy theory from a Mizzou fan. We'll obviously go in the east and initially have A&M as a cross divisional rival with 8 conference games. Then in a couple years after we have gotten our SE recruiting ramped up and don't depend on Texas recruits so much, we'll switch to Arky as our cross divisional rival. What happens with SC and A&M at that point is either they play eachother as rivals, or the other SEC teams have worked out some agreement for cross divisional rivals.

I can't believe we would not play Arkansas every year eventually. We would be missing out on what could turn into a nice rivalry.

Stringfellow716
Stringfellow716

As long as its a 6-2-1 format. I just want Mizzou to play Ark and A&M annually so it can build rivalries in the SEC. Don't want two round robin games a year.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stringfellow716...

The SEC currently uses two rotating opponents and we believe that's what will be the eventual plan. Otherwise, schools will only see the cross-division foes once every 10-12 years rather than once every 4-5 years.

John

a&mfan
a&mfan

How so? They would get threw it in 5 years. You just wouldn't play the team in a home and home.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

You could do it that way, but it throws things off quite a bit. When a team rotates onto your schedule now you have the assurance that that team will be of a certain quality for those 2 years. If there was an extra 4 or 5 years in between meetings then you could be getting a completely different team.

Brandon
Brandon

Do you think this will be part of the new TV contract negotiation? If the networks are willing to pay some extra cash for more SEC games from a 9 game schedule, perhaps that impacts the deal. No need to show your hand on moving to 8 games without getting something out of it from the TV contract.

m (Ag)
m (Ag)

Yeah, if everyone drops one 'buy' game and adds a conference game, that slightly reduces the TV inventory (though adding 2 teams offsets that) while improving the number of quality games. They'll ask the networks to compensate them accordingly. Likely they'll include 18 conference basketball games as well in the negotiations.

Bill
Bill

going to a 14 team conference and still only playing 8 conference games is absolutely absurd. The SEC would be dumb to keep it that way and have some teams play on occassion twice in 10 years. Why not just make an SEC-A and SEC-B conferences and then those two winners just play. forget the round robins all together

Gator
Gator

UF-LSU usually play in mid-October.

You might be thinking about the regular meeting between Arky and LSU that happens Thanksgiving weekend.

bamp
bamp

yep, uou are right Gator - I was typing too fast... Thx

deltaboy
deltaboy

Yeah...& the Ark. - LSU date needs to be LEFT ALONE!

bamp
bamp

I've heard and believe the part about A&M/Ark going to home & home. Haven't heard about the Oklahoma/Ark though. Would tend to not believe it since that would be a potential second home game outside of Norman (with TX/OU game already in Dallas). But wouldn't completely dismiss if Jerry Jones showed them the money.

deltaboy
deltaboy

No, I'm just sensitized to any disruption to my favorite game of the year [I attended both schools].

The most interesting rumor I have heard was that Ark. and A&M were going to a home & home series and that Ark. would play Oklahoma in Dallas each year in the "Southwest Shootout". Anyone else heard this?

bamp
bamp

So you have heard rumors too, delta?

bamp
bamp

Heard rumors of a Thanksgiving game consisting of A&M vs LSU. If that is true, wouldn't there be a shifting of LSU/FL? Don't have a clue how accurate it is, but heard quite a bit of it in Texas.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

LSU and Florida don't play on Thanksgiving. And cross divisional games can fall in any week of the schedule.

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