More Schedule Whining: This Time From Carolina
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.
as a Carolina fan I am embarrassed by the schedule whining. This makes us look bad and perpetuates the idea that we can't compete with the best in the SEC. Am I happy about playing LSU in Death Valley- NO. But at the same time we have high aspirations and they can't be accomplished without beating the best so its what has to be done. And we had the schedule bounce our way in 2010 when we won the East and UGA did in 2011. It's nothing to complain about.
Yea, this is just whining. I'm sympathetic with SC's plight, but every team goes through it at some point. I think it was 2 years ago when Arkansas played the 8 best teams in the SEC and none of the 4 easiest teams. It didn't cost us a divisional title, but we shared the same conference record with several teams we had beaten and none we had lost to.
I wish everyone could play everyone, but that's simply not possible with a 12 team conference. Now that we have 14, it'll only get worse, which is why I never wanted to expand. Some have suggested only playing intra-divisional games, but I don't see how that's any different then having 2 conferences, with an unneeded championship game.
Here's how to save the 8-game season, without creating a system where cross-division teams play only once every 6 years. Each team will skip one division team every year, playing 6 of 7 divisional opponents and 3 of 7 non-divisional opponents, preserving the 5::3 ratio we have now.
Traditional rivalries like TN_AL, GA-FL, AUB-AL could be preserved. or not. . A&M and MO are new, and have no traditional rivalries, which gives some scheduling flexibility. Is anyone really going to freak out because VANDY-SC, or A&M - MS ST doesn't get played once every 6 years?
Of course the purists will whine about divisional schedules being uneven, but would it be any more uneven than non-divisional schedules now? The only perfectly even scheduling would mean a 13-game conference schedule!
This is a lame idea. The division games are ALREADY worth more by virtue of the first 2 tiebreakers - head to head, and then divisional. So in aggregate, divisional games are worth a half game advantage.
This just comes across as being a poor sport.
The SEC should just get rid of guaranteed interdivisional rivalries. I can already hear the groan from Alabama on this comment, but it is true. No major league has such a rule and it screws up a proper rotation of teams. The practice also give "preference" to certain teams at the expense of others. We just need to pull the plug for the long term betterment of the league.
Most SC fans I know aren't really bothered by last years schedule. Its a rotation and thats how the chips unfolded. What bothers them is next years schedule. UGA was supposed to pick up bama and keep ole miss. SC was supposed to pick up LSU and keep Miss st. SC has to drop Miss st, while UGA gets to drop Bama. Thats not rotation. It is what it is though and at the end of the day its not the football team bringing this up, its a trustee.
"Beat the teams in front of you" is a novel concept when all things are equal. However, when there is a decided advantage in scheduling, that cliche loses its meaning. The SEC league office gave UGA a clear advantage in scheduling this year. That's not an opinion, that's a fact. Why was this decision made? I won't offer an 'opinion' but prefer to deal with the fact. I think the "0.5 proposal" is fair for ALL teams each and every year. This proposal also ensures a team that goes undefeated in their division won't lose the division title due to playing a tougher schedule in the opposing division. In short, USC can go 6-0 in the East in 2012 and LOSE the East to UGA due to the fact the Gamecocks travel to Baton Rouge and play Arkansas...and you think that's fair? LOL, SMH - - BTW, Gamecocks are 6-0 in the last two years vs UGA, Florida and Tennessee.
Wow, I am shocked USC is the one whining about this. UT&UF had to face the best of the west, but I guess USC missed out on winning the east.
To be fair UGa did play the NC champ...
You make good points, and I don't really disagree - but us Gamecock fans feel like the re-worked schedule for this fb season gives GA an unfair advantage, especially since they are avoiding the "big 3" from the west for the second season in a row. Blah blah, win the games you have to play, blah blah blah. If the situation were reversed the bullpup fans would be saying the same things.
I will call your bluff. Clearly, you are not a Gamecock fan because your statement "the schedule bounce our way in 2010" is beyond absurd. We played at Auburn (eventual Nat'l Champs) and #1 Alabama back-to-back in addition to playing Arkansas. UGA played Arkansas & Auburn but not Bama or LSU. Nice try, Dawg fan. LOL! You even cried to move our game to October...my, my, my how the mighty dawgs have fallen. SMH, LOL Even stooping to pose as the dreaded 'Gamecock' fan. LOL!!! :)
@lodger16x I never liked the idea of skipping a divisional team, but with the inherent problems with a 14 team league, I'm warming up to it. However, I only think it works if there are no exceptions, which really wouldn't be a huge deal, considering that it would only be for a single year. But I have a hard time imagining Bama and Auburn fans willing to skip the Iron Bowl every few years.
This is a perfect example of a fan seeing things through his own eyes. "Carolina caught a bad break in the 2012 schedule, so Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, and Ole Miss-Vandy fans should suffer." Everything's okay as long as it's someone else that's getting a raw deal.
That could be why I blast schedule whines from all 12 fanbases. If someone wants to step up and figure out a plan that's better for everyone, I'll praise their ethics. Until then, it's just "I want a better schedule that he got!" type whining.
You know who was involved in the creation of next year's schedule? The University of South Carolina. Every school had a voice.
Thanks for reading,
The NFL doesn't have equal scheduling. Yet it's the most popular sport in America. Again, if you want a fair schedule, it has to be a 26-game football season with all teams playing each other at home and on the road. Otherwise, it's not really fair.
Thanks for reading,John
@Clockwatcher That's actually a very good point, imo, but no one cares when you're not considered important in the race (right or wrong).
@XIlarf And while on the subject of fairness, is it fair that Spurrier allowed a FIVE TIME suspended QB to not only remain on the team but start against Georgia? Is it fair that Georgia has an automatic drug suspension policy for first offenses while SC doesn’t? Is it fair that Spurrier practices in surprise greyshirting? These are all things that SC proactively engages in to give itself a competitive advantage. Georgia played the hand it was dealt with the schedule, it didn’t deal to itself from the bottom of the deck like Spurrier and the SC athletic administration prefer to do.
@XIlarf Excuse me but I don’t recall much Dawg talking about all the years that SC got to play a crappy Arkansas team and Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee played the three traditional western powers every season. A little success does wonders for the arrogance of a fanbase.
You nailed it with your last sentence. And that's why I say folks need to stop crying. No schedule is 100% fair. Everyone sees their school as getting robbed and the other guy as getting it easy. These things are cyclical, there will come a day when Carolina has the "easy" schedule.
Thanks for reading,John
Actually I am a Carolina Fan. I currently attend Carolina too. And am an ambassador for the University so I'm the one of those people who do the tours for all of our prospects when they come for official visits. And you can't call playing at Auburn in that time a bad bounce. Had Garcia not stopped caring in the 4th quarter we would have won. SEC championship for sure we got drubbed and it wasn't even close but Auburn had learned how to use Cam by then. And being in Willy-B in the COCKPIT, aka student section, we gave ourselves that advantage. But I'm not claiming UGA hasn't had cake schedules recently, but we- USC- are trying to climb to be the best and have NC aspirations so we can't complain because we get LSU, Bama, or Arky.
@deltaboy Perhaps not. If the SEC would go ahead and add two more teams (8 per conference) they could do away with cross-divisional play altogether and just have the division winners play for the SEC championship. Not saying I'm a fan of 16 (or even 14) team conferences - I'm not - but if we've gone this far we may as well go the rest of the way. If you want 8 or 9 conference games per season instead of 7 you end up in the same position regarding "the luck of the draw", and if so so be it. My opinion of the best solution is to hold at 14 teams and change from 8 to 9 conference games per year, keeping the basic format that existed before.
@lodger16x Well, I didn't mean for the skipping of one division opponent each year to be a 1-yr thing. The whole point is to prevent a situation where cross-division opponents only play every (on average) 3.5 years ( 2 opponents per year into 7), meaning that team only visits you once every 7 years. Of course AL-AUB, TN-ALA, GA-FL, MS-MS ST, LSU-ARK could still play every year, but that means another game lost against an inter-divisional or cross-divisional opponent. Something has to give somewhere. If we try to preserve certain rivalries, AND play every division opponent every year, we are going to have situations of playing a cross-division team once every 6 years, with a visit to Your Place from them once every 12 years ( 8 game schedule). Lets say TN has to play every division opponent every year (6 games). That leaves 2 games. But say they have to play traditional rival BAMA every year. That leaves one free game per year against LSU, MS, A&M, MS, MS ST, or AUB. So we would see TN-LSU only once per 6 yrs., and UT-LSU in Knoxville or Baton Rouge only once every 12 years!
We could fix this by going to a 9-game schedule, meaning fewer bowl teams.
Oh yeah, Im not crying conspiracy at all. But Im sure every school didn't get to pick all of there oponents. If you asked SC which one they would have prefered, Miss st. at home, or LSU on the road, I doubt they would have said heck yeah send us there. But it is what it is. We can beat them.
John, the teams in each NFL division play the same schedule. They play each team within their division twice and all teams within a division also play the same out of division teams. If the SEC could develop a similar set up, I would be for it. However, we have a system in place that gives preferential treatment to certain teams and their legacy over their conference mates. No major sport has such a set up and it should be abandoned.
Sir, you are comparing apples & oranges. We're talking equity especially since this decision gave UGA a clear advantage this year. That's undisputed. Thanks for responding.
I can't say I disagree with you about Spurrier and Garcia, but I'm not sure that Garcia did much to beat UGA these past 2 years. In fact, the Gamecocks won IN SPITE of Garcia. 3 years ago, Garcia did light up UGA, but lost the game. These past 2 years? That, my friend, was on the back of Marcus Lattimore.
The reason for the automatic drug suspension policy at GA is due to the fact GA has so many perpetrators.
Greyshirting?? Really? That's the best you can come up with? Wow you must have just started following college football?
@John at MrSEC The only problem with that is, there aren't a lot of years where SC can go into the season with a legit possibility to win the SEC and possibly be in the hunt for a NC. This year could be one. Maybe we are getting to the next level and it happens more often, but when you feel like your finnaly getting over the hump, and then the schedule gives you a little Kick in the jewels, it's frustrating. Darn that "chicken curse" lol
*And for Bama being in Willy-B in the COCKPIT, aka student section, we gave ourselves that advantage.
Adding 2 more teams & certainly playing only within your division are where I disagree with XIIarf. The SEC should have stayed at 12 teams [if it ain't broke don't fix it]. If the main purpose of adding A&M & Mo. was to enhance the TV package by "adding more eyeballs" I believe it is coming at too high of a price [splitting revenue 2 more ways, disrupting schedules, threatening existing rivalries, etc.] It would have been much better to enhance the TV package by adding another conference game & entering into a formal non-conference scheduling agreement with the Big 12 or the ACC like the Big 10 & Pac 12 have done. I believe Mr. Slive got outflanked on that one.
@XIlarf@deltaboy Maybe it would be better to add 2 more teams (I don't know), but if you only play teams within your own division, how is that any different from having 2 conferences? The conference championship game would only serve to knock the loser out of a higher bowl, although that's probably not a valid complaint, since most every conference has a championship game now. I really don't know what to think.
While I do not agree with the first part of your post [that's going from bad to worse], I do agree with the latter. Since we are now a 14 team league, a 9 game conference schedule is the remedy for preserving more existing rivalries & allowing "non-permanent" cross-divisional opponents to play each other twice in every 6 years instead of twice in every 12 years. It will also "enhance the content" of the TV package & strike a blow against cupcake scheduling.
Not so. The teams in a division play each other. Then they play teams from the same AFC and NFC divisions. Then they each play two other teams based upon their position in the final standings. Also, some teams get Team X at home, some on the road.
The idea that a fair schedule can be designed is laughable. Until every team plays every other team at home AND away... it's not fair.
Slow down, John...you're all over the map. You're eluding ONE simple fact...yes, I know that as a ardent SEC writer you are aware that the 2012 season is its own schedule. HOWEVER, what you are overlooking/trivializing is how it was done. Simply put, your statement that 'the day will come...' is subject to chance for EVERY SEC team. BUT Georgia was GIVEN the easy schedule for 2012....that's a fact. Again, from 1992 - 2011, it was by chance and from 2013 and beyond, again 'the day will come...' is by chance for USC and everyone else. BUT for 2012, it was given to UGA with a red & black ribbon.
I'm fully aware that 2012 is its own schedule, but I'm referring to the fact that with a rotating schedule, the day will come when USC has the so-called easy schedule. And at that point you won't be talking about how unfair it is that Carolina caught a break. You'll take it and leave someone else to complain.
That's my problem with it. As I said above, work out a schedule -- with calendar dates -- and we'll post it to see if all the fans out there across the SEC approve of it.
Please allow me to sum it up this way...all axioms aside. The 2012 SEC schedule was set as a one-time decision. Future schedules to include rotations between divisions will be decided beginning with the 2013 schedule. As stated in other posts (and is common knowledge), UGA was scheduled to play at Bama. USC was scheduled to play at LSU. However, the league dropped UGA’s game at Alabama BUT left our game at LSU intact. Now, Sir I ask you, is that fair? Simple question. I'm sure we can all agree the answer is 'no.' In addition, the league moved the UGA vs USC to October at THEIR request. So, we now have to play UGA & LSU back-to-back. Nevertheless, the Gamecocks will make it 3 in a row vs the Dawgs...thanks again.
I don't think it's apples to oranges. You said "Beat the teams in front of you" is fine when all things are equal. But the NFL isn't equal. And no one tries to make divisional wins count more than conference wins or conference wins count more than non-conference wins.
That's all I was saying. Sooner or later Carolina will get the "easier" schedule and USC trustees will hush and some other school's will pipe up. If that's the way it works, then why complain at all?
Just my take,
And as I said, had the situation been reversed, so would you be. That's obvious given your ranting about Garcia and supposed "competitive advantages" and such. Why can't you just admit y'all caught a nice break in scheduling and that if we had gotten that break instead of you then you would probably be grumbing about it also?
@XIlarf It's your school's administration that brought this up, not mine. And you wasted little time preaching the unfairness of it.
Your point is invalid! You stated above Eric Hyman shouldn't be trying to push am idea from a trustee at the SEC meeting. I simply asked the question when and where did you hear this? In the article it clearly states the trustee WOULD HOPE Eric Hyman would pursue his idea. Once again do you have a DIRECT quote from Mr Hyman stating he is onboard with any of these suggestions??? NO you don't...that's the point!
What are you saying the hearsay is? Each school had a voice and just about every school had to give in some areas. In some in bigger areas than others just to get the dates and schedule right. Some schools play three straight league games on the road. Some open with two straight on the road.
Everyone can complain if they want to. Tell you what, you sit down right now and draw up a better schedule -- with the dates included -- and we'll see if fans from every other school are happy with your plan.
Can't be done. And that's the point.
It is my understanding Eric Hyman didn't have a problem with the upcoming schedule. Do you have an actual quote or is this hearsay?
I understand that it's frustrating. But for Eric Hyman to push a new point system for keeping track of football standings at the SEC meetings? That's what's silly to me.
But trust me, I know how the schedule looks and I wouldn't expect any USC fans to say, "thanks for that!"
Thanks for reading,