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SEC Rep Talks Schedules, Divisions In Missouri

Former Mississippi State AD and current SEC transition team member Larry Templeton was in Columbia, Missouri yesterday to see the #5 Tigers knock off future SEC running mate Texas A&M on the hardwood.  The folks at — the Rivals site covering Missouri — and The Kansas City Star caught up with Templeton and spoke with him about a number of SEC-related topics:

1.  Templeton said the SEC will continue to go with an eight-game football schedule, but that the future schedule format for 2013 and beyond will not be tied to the 2012 schedule.  “Everything you see in ’12 was done strictly to make it work.  Everything else is on the table for discussion.”

Of a nine-game schedule, Templeton said: “We’re not going to nine.  It would be an easier scheduling format, but I don’t think it would be fair to our players or our coaches.”

This has been known for a while.  SEC coaches and ADs do not want to go to a nine-game conference slate and it will be up to the league commissioner and school presidents to convince them otherwise.  Based on the SEC’s previous “bravery” when it came to adding league games and adding a championship contest, we continue to state that the SEC will eventually wind up with a nine-game schedule.  If not, then the SEC will harm itself (especially with all other leagues heading toward a nine-game schedule universe).

2.  Templeton said that one topic up for consideration is whether or not to continue having permanent cross-divisional rivalries.

If these games go away, the SEC will lose three of its oldest rivalries: Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt.  Missouri would also lose Texas A&M and the recruiting grounds of the Lone Star State.

The Big 12 nuked its Oklahoma-Nebraska matchup when it absorbed four schools from the old SWC in the mid-90s.  The bad karma from that move has haunted the league to this day.

There is little chance that Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt would play each other as “non-conference” games in addition to their usual league slates, so you can stop emailing me that one.  That leaves realignment of the divisions as the only other option, but…

3.  Templeton said he did not foresee the divisional alignment changing “real quickly.”  He said: “I think we would have to have some sound reasoning as to why we would want to change that.”

4.  Templeton told the Missouri press that the SEC basketball schedule will be 16 games “next year and 18 thereafter” according to  He also said that Kansas City — clear across the state of Missouri — will be in play for landing an SEC Tournament at some point.

5.  Templeton said that he does not expect the SEC Championship Game to ever move from Atlanta.

6.  The SEC rep would not discuss the possibility of the league expanding further.

So what did we learn?  Not much that wasn’t already known.  Except for this: Templeton said, “Until the NCAA changes the championship game rules, it would be hard to anything but divisional play.  Now, we would like the NCAA to look at that because we feel pretty strongly — we have some crossover games division to division — (and) we would like to play more of them.”

That might be one way to open up scheduling and to save key rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia.  Presumably, the SEC could go without divisions and simply send its top two teams to Atlanta for the SEC title game.

But that’s pure speculation at this point.



Yea. A Mizzou story. Keep em coming....

I think St. Louis would be ideal and should be pursued for a basketball tourney site right-away. However, Mizzou, Arky and UK would all travel to KC in droves. And A&M is used to going there, too. I think KC would be a stellar site and much better than St. Pete simply because it already has built-in basketball-mad fan bases close at hand, even though it may be more on the fringe than St. Pete. I think Mizzou fans will enjoy going to Nashville for the tourney in 2013 (maybe more so than KC if only because obnoxious Jayhawkers won't be there!).

On the MU Network ( Templeton also mentioned that the next FB schedules would be for 13 years. Hmmmmm. Does that mean any further expansion (to 16?) might be after 2012? or does it mean that no other expansion is even remotely planned?


I'm an Aggie and have also wondered about the solution to the permanent rival problem. A few months ago I thought eliminating divisions would be the best solution. Obvious this would require lobbying for rule changes, but given the ACC will face some of the same challenges and other conferences need to start looking towards the future I could see it happenning. If so, I think you go with 3 permanent rivals per school, rotate the other 10 teams every year (5 one year, the other 5 the next). Could you speculate what you think those rivals would look like?


I think it is good to move the conference championship location around the league. The league will only get more visibility and stronger by including St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Kansas City in the mix from time to time. I have no problem with Atlanta at all, just thinking about the SEC's future. I would also include large metro areas in the mix from other states that participate in the SEC too.


Honestly, Kansas City is no worse a site for the SEC basketball tournament than Tampa, and the league's already done that.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


They can change those schedules anytime they like. I don't think the SEC is interested at all in expanding again, but I wouldn't read too much into the 13-year thing. That's the schedule rotation and it can be changed at any time. It's changing from 2011 to 2012 to 2013, for example.

Thanks for reading the site,


John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


We're already working on a lengthy piece regarding scheduling. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,



@AndrewMartin I'd at least like to see New Orleans get a few championship games. Having it in Atlanta all the time seems a bit unfair to all the SEC West teams. And if Georgia is playing from the East then it's basically like a home game for them.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Andrew Martin...

Again, the only issue is that fans -- other than Kentucky's -- are unlikely to fill the arenas. The attendance at St. Pete was poor. It would be poor in many non-SEC cities like Dallas or San Antonio or Kansas City. Houston is close to College Station, but attendance would still likely be poor. St. Louis would be a better possibility because its closer to more SEC schools than Kansas City.


John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


I wasn't a fan of St. Petersburg hosting the tournament, either, but the distance from St. Pete to the hub of the SEC in Birmingham (where its offices are located) is 560 miles. Kansas City is about 700 miles from Birmingham, depending on which route you take. Kansas City will be a longer drive for most SEC fans than St. Pete was.

But as long as the league knows only Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky fans will show up, then KC's as good a choice as any.

Thanks for reading the site,John


@John at MrSEC

Being a KC native myself, the city is basketball crazy and has been host to many NCAA basketball tournaments. KCMO is less than two hours from Columbia and is packed with Mizzou (now SEC) fans. St. Louis is an irregular host of basketball tournaments, but it would be a pretty good host as well. Don't knock it until you travel there and see for yourself.


@John at MrSEC


I don't think attendance in Kansas City would be poor. Kansas City is absolutely a college basketball city. NCAA and NAIA championships were played there for years, and of course KC is still in the rotations for hosting NCAA tournament games. College basketball has always drawn well in KC, so I'd predict an SEC tournament in KC would be well attended.

Excellent site, by the way.


@John at MrSEC

John, you need to stop saying "non SEC cities" when discussing Missouri and Texas markets. You have three top 10 tv markets and that is the reason why the SEC expanded in the first place. It wouldn't make financial or strategic sense to not capitalize on developing those markets. Texas alone has nearly 30 million people which equals 2-3 current SEC states combined. You make these cities sponsor / host / bid these events. If it made sense for A&M / Arkansas or Michigan / Alabama to play in Cowboys Stadium, it would make even more sense for the SEC Championship game with greater national exposure.


I agree with Andrew. Kansas City is ripe for picking. Especially when Texas decides to saddle up and head out west and ku and K State are scrambling for homes in the Big East or Mountain West.


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