Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings isn’t the only person in the SEC who doesn’t like the league’s scheduling practices. The folks at South Carolina aren’t happy about the way the SEC schedules its football games. They’ve come up with a solution, too.
“For the purposes of football division rankings, intra-division games shall be valued as a whole (1.0) game and inter-divisional games shall be valued as a half (0.5) game.”
Why count cross-divisional games as a half game? Because South Carolina had to play one tougher West Division foe in 2011 than Georgia did. (And if the shoe were on the other foot, USC trustee Chuck Allen would be stone silent right now.)
South Carolina beat Georgia this past season and then knocked off every other team from the East Division. But the Gamecocks went just 1-2 against the West Division (beating MSU and losing to Arkansas and Auburn).
Georgia ran the table after its Carolina loss, including a 3-0 record versus SEC West opponents (beating Ole Miss, MSU and Auburn.) Next year, the Dawgs will again avoid Alabama, Arkansas and LSU, while the Cocks will have to face the Razorbacks and the Tigers.
But let’s face facts, if Carolina had won the SEC East last year, Allen isn’t making his proposal and AD Eric Hyman isn’t vowing to push it at the SEC meetings.
Here’s a problem with the logic, though — you could make a pretty good case that it wasn’t the Arkansas loss that cost Carolina last year… it was the 16-13 home loss to a 7-5 Auburn squad that hurt. Georgia did have to play the Tigers. And they crushed them 45-7.
If it sounds like we’re not big on schools and coaches whining about schedule slights, we’re not. When a schedule is made, there’s no telling who’ll be good and who’ll be bad (anyone think Florida would be 6-6 last year). There’s no telling who’ll be banged up or missing players due to academics or off-field transgressions when two teams meet. Which teams will start hot and cool off or start cool and heat up.
Beat the teams in front of you.
Until the SEC goes to a 26-game football schedule in which every team will face every other team both at home and away, there’s no such thing as a completely fair schedule. Someone will always have an advantage.
Championship teams rise above it. Others spend their time trying to cook up new point systems for the league’s football standings board.
Carolina just had a helluva 2011. Whining for rules changes is no way to start 2012.