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Praise The SEC For The New Tourney Format

For the last week we’ve been raking the SEC’s presidents and ADs over the coals because — it appears — they’re going to shy away from a nine-game football schedule that would help the league in the long run.

That mistake stands in stark contrast to just about everything else Mike Slive and his cohorts have done over the years.  Including last offseason’s wise decision to dump the division standings in basketball and do away with divisional seeding in the SEC tournament.

Had the old format still been in use, here’s how the league’s standings board would have looked:


SEC East
   
Finish
School
SEC Record
1
Kentucky
16-0
2
Tennessee
10-6
3
Vanderbilt
10-6
4
Florida
10-6
5
Georgia
5-11
6
S. Carolina
2-14
SEC West
   
Finish
School
SEC Record
1
Alabama
9-7
2
Miss. State
8-8
3
Ole Miss
8-8
4
LSU
7-9
5
Arkansas
6-10
6
Auburn
5-11



Once again, the East would have appeared far superior to the West and you have to wonder if Alabama would have once again been hurt by playing in a weaker division.

On the other hand, the perception created by this type of divided leaderboard might have aided Tennessee’s tourney push.

Below is how the SEC Tournament would have looked had the league not decided to simply seed the thing 1-12:


East #4 Florida vs
West #5 Arkansas
(with winner playing West #1 Alabama)


West #3 Ole Miss vs
East #6 S. Carolina
(with winner playing East #2 Tennessee)


West #4 LSU vs
East #5 Georgia
(with winner playing East #1 Kentucky)


East #3 Vanderbilt vs
West #6 Auburn
(with winner playing West #2 Miss. State)


Sorry, folks, but the teams from the old SEC East were once again better.  Playing an old divisional schedule, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vandy and Florida beat each other up twice each and still finished atop the table.

They deserved the byes. 

Good work, SEC brass.  Now about that eight-game football plan…

 




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