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Mizzou’s Pinkel Talks 8-Game SEC Schedule And A&M (But A 9-Game Schedule Will Come)

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel opened up with The Columbia Tribune regarding the Tigers’ switch from the Big 12 to the SEC this weekend the result is a long, interesting Q&A.  From recruiting and facilities to style of play, Pinkel explains his views of what’s changing and what’s not.

He also tackled Mizzou’s division placement — in the East — and the league’s plan to maintain an eight-game conference schedule:


“Well, traditionally, if you look over a 20-year period of time, there’s a lot of teams that have won in the (East).  Tennessee, Florida, Georgia.  Right now, with the situation it is, it’s a really good league.  It’s kind of like our league was this year.  You’ve got to strap it on, you know?  And you’ve got to have it every week.  I like the way it’s designed.  We play all six teams in our division.  Our rival game is going to be Texas A&M, which is really important because it’s in Texas for us year in, year out.  That’s really, really important to us.  So I think it’s a real plus for us.  And the way they do it, you go home and away for the other six teams over a 12-year period of time.  So I might not even see some of those other places (in the West Division).

We’ll have four nonconference games, and I think that’s really important, too.  This league, when you get into league play, strap it on.  Okay?  To be able to schedule is really, really important.  They got it right there (with eight conference games.”


So says a coach.  And there’s not a coach in the SEC who’ll likely want to see a nine-game football slate.  But they will.

Eventually — as we’ve said time and again — the SEC will have to go to a nine-game schedule if it wants to maintain the rivalries that have made the league strong.  It’s no coincidence that the SEC’s “golden age” begun when the league moved from six to seven and then to eight league games.  If the league sticks at eight in a 14-school league, well, as Pinkel himself said: “I might not even see some of those other places.”

When Alabama might not see Georgia or a decade, you’ve got a problem.  Ditto Auburn and Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri, Georgia and LSU, etc, etc.

Eight will be the case next season.  And it may be the case for a year or two longer.  But by 2017, the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten are all expected to be playing nine-game conference schedules.  The Big 12 is already at nine, too.  If other leagues are beating each other up while the SEC feasts on the Elons, Furmans, and Georgia States of the world, expect some of the national respect for the SEC to dwindle.

When Texas A&M re-upped with the Big 12 last summer and talk of the Aggies cooled, this website stated emphatically that A&M and the SEC made so much sense that the two would definitely still marry up at some point.  A year later, that’s happened.

We’re just as sure that Mike Slive and the SEC presidents — coaches be damned — understand that fan passion is fed in large part by seeing the other teams in the league.  The SEC has been at the forefront of every major good move in college football for 20 years.  The powers-that-be would fail spectacularly if they allowed all other conferences to remain regional via rotating schedules while their own was basically split in two thanks to a fraidy cat, eight-game slate.

 


13 comments
bamahead
bamahead

I remember the 80's where Bama would play Penn St, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, often all on the same non-conference schedule. And the lone 'directional state' game in those days was usually a (now) Big East or C-USA school like Rutgers or Tulane. Most Directional State U's didn't have a D1 football program in those days, and IMHO there are too many of them now.

-bh

bamahead
bamahead

All - I think a 9 game schedule for 2013 is a foregone conclusion at this point. The article on this site from earlier this week said that the likely schedules coming out in '2 weeks' are a 1-year solution, according to SEC sources. This smells to me like they're just going with the familiar for a single year to get Mizzou and A&M 'acquainted' with their division, and then they will up the ante next year and go back to the 1 permanent-2 rotating cross division games in a 9 game schedule.

I welcome it and for one will not miss the typical 4 games per-year with Directional State University. What I will miss is the chance to put more Big 10, Pac 12, BigIX teams on SEC schedules because you know the coaches will WANT to schedule the easy wins, at the expense of the big intra-conference games.
-bh

sfprman
sfprman

a 9-game conference schedule is great ONLY if everyone else is doing it. The Big XII doing it this year just placed 5 additional loses on the conference teams vs. others conferences like the SEC who only played 8 conference games. Even if all the major conferences play a nine-game conference schedule, it becomes that more frustrating to see a Boise State or whomever play perhaps one quality opponent a year and clamor for a BCS bowl while much better 10-2 teams from major conferences are left out in the cold.

Andy
Andy

I like an 8 game conference schedule if it means you get one extra premium non-conference game per year. I would love to see Mizzou play Nebraska every year in the non-conference. If the SEC goes to 9 games, I'm not sure that's even possible. But at 8 games it is. With 9 conference games to we still get LSU/Oregon? Alabama/Penn State? Georgia/Boise State? Missouri/Arizona State? I'm not sure that we do.

Kelly
Kelly

Well they will be in West soon

Jeff Elsworth
Jeff Elsworth

John,
did you listen to the interview on Powermizzou? Pinkel answering the first question said the SEC was pursuing Missouri. Please tell me the Big12 cannot use that against either MU or the SEC !!

lodger
lodger

The SEC does not need a 9 game schedule to maintain rivalries. The problem with an 8 game schedule (normal) is that other than the permanent game with 1 cross-division rival, you only play the other cross-division teams once every 6 years. What program wants ALA or FLA to visit their stadium only once every 12 years?
The answer is simple. Modify the 8-game schedule so each team skips one division member each year. This allows the current practice of playing 3 cross-division teams to continue. The best intra-division rivalries (ALA-AUB, MS-MS ST, LSU-ARK, GA-FL, TN-VAN, KY-SC) would be played every year. The other intra-division teams would only be skipped once every 5 years. This seems to me better than teams becoming virtual strangers with 6 of the cross-division teams. People will argue about strength of schedule disparities, well, isn't it statistically true that cross-division games are just as likely to cause disparity as division games. There is simply no way to have perfect schedule balance in a 14-team conference unless you play 13 conference games.

Medloh
Medloh

For the record, Pinkel voted Alabama as #2, saying they showed they were the second best team this the season.

He also said that he was assured Mizzou football facilities would be upgraded. He said this was Mizzou's chance, and he wouldn't want to be apart of it if they didn't receive the kind of investments necessary to win in the SEC. They'll be increasing their recruiting budgets and upgrading facilities starting with new field turf next year and a few thousand extra seats soon.

Mizzou was of course passed up by all the B12 bowls. But it turned out alright for us. We go to Shreveport in the Independence bowl to play N Carolina. At least we get some exposure in SEC territory, hopefully will spark some interest in future recruits. B12 shares all bowl revenue equally so crappy payout doesn't really affect Mizzou much.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

I can see there being a split among the programs between those that play a permanent, quality OOC opponent like Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and those that don’t like Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, etc. I know those programs in recent years often play good OOC teams like Bama/Penn St., Auburn/Clemson and so forth but the difference is that they have the option to scale back their scheduling as they see fit to their own benefit. There’s also the issue of losing the revenue from a guaranteed home game every season. Maybe a more lucrative tv contract can make up that difference but there’s obviously a lot of details to be worked out. It does seem inevitable though that a nine game league schedule is coming.

deltaboy
deltaboy

"So says a coach. And there's not a coach in the SEC who'll likely want to see a nine-game football slate."

Quite right! And that's exactly why coaches should have zero input into decisions like this. They cannot be trusted on scheduling because they almost always give self-serving advice. If scheduling were left up to the coaches, we would probably see four conference games & eight cupcakes on each SEC schedule.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Jeff Elsworth...

I didn't hear it, but I'd guess the Big 12 and MU are far enough down the road in terms of negotiation for the coach's words not to be that big of a deal. The Big 12 wants huge cash. Mizzou is trying to talk them down. Eventually they'll meet in the middle and the move will be complete.

I would be shocked if something like a coach's remark truly upset the apple cart at this point.

Thanks or reading,
John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

lodger...

No offense, but that's not a solution at all. To hold a league championship game -- without an NCAA waiver -- you have to have round-robin play within the divisions. Also, what if Alabama and LSU had been the West Division foes who did not meet this season? Good luck picking a tie-breaker.

The reasons against a nine-game conference schedule are weak at best and they're being ignored by very other major league. The SEC will wisely follow suit soon enough.

Thanks for reading,
John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

GeoffDawg...

But the issues you're mentioning are being ignored by other leagues going to nine-games. FSU, Clemson and Georgia Tech aren't complaining about the fact that most ACC officials are talking about a nine-game schedule with Va. Tech's AD even tossing out the idea of a 10-game league slate.

The excuses that will be used by the schools are all small when compared to a) overall revenue increases from expansion and b) the overall health of the conference. And I do not believe a conference where half the teams don't often see each other is healthy.

We'll see, but I bet all these issues get ironed out.

John

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  2. I have some question

    Can I move a secondary Tumblr blog to a different account?



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