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Slive Speaks: Football Rivalries Saved, Basketball Rivalries Dumped

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has wrapped up his league’s 2012 spring meetings by sharing the following information:

 

* The SEC made $241.5 million dollars last year.

* $147.8 million came from football and basketball television contracts.

* The average SEC per team payout will be $20.1 million, up from $19.5 million last year (but those numbers could still rise a bit).

* Football will use a 6-1-1 scheduling model, as expected.  This at least saves some of the SEC’s oldest rivalries (Auburn-Georgia, Alabama-Tennessee, Ole Miss-Vanderbilt) as well as one of its marquee television games (Florida-LSU).  Slive said the “overwhelming” majority voted for the 6-1-1 plan.

* This 6-1-1 will feature a rotation of teams each season, so schools will go 12 years between visits to cross-division rivals.

* The 2013 schedule was not released and has not been completed.  Who plays whom in terms of rotating cross-division foes will be decided at random.

* Arkansas-Missouri and South Carolina-Texas A&M will become permanent cross-division rivals as expected.

* Horribly, the basketball schedule will feature just one permanent opponent as part of the ridiculous 1-4-8 plan.  This means that some of the SEC’s oldest rivalries (LSU-Ole Miss, LSU-MSU, Kentucky-Tennessee, and Florida-Georgia have all been played more than 200 times, for example) will no longer be home-and-home matchups each and every season.

* The permanent basketball rivals will be Alabama-Auburn, Arkansas-Missouri, Florida-Kentucky, Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Texas A&M, Mississippi State-Ole Miss and Tennessee-Vanderbilt.

* The men’s basketball tournament will feature all 14 teams with the four lowest-seeded teams playing Wednesday night games.

* Slive said the league is dedicated to a 1-2-3-4 plan for college football’s playoff…

* But he said the SEC is open to discussing how those top four teams are chosen.

* Slive said it will “take some time to get it done” when asked about a possible SEC Network.

 

Instant reaction:

Obviously, we at MrSEC.com believe for many reasons that the league would have been better off going to a nine-game conference schedule in football.  This has nothing to do with following the pack and everything to do with creating better inventory for television, protecting more rivalries, and keeping the SEC impervious to strength of schedule attacks.

By failing to adopt a nine-game slate, the SEC has needlessly given its many, many detractors ammunition.  We believe the league will eventually pay a price for that and will ultimately be forced to go to a nine-game slate at some point as a result.

As for basketball, well, Sam from “The Brady Bunch” couldn’t have butchered things more.  Instead of using a 4-1-8 plan — as we had proposed months ago — the league decided to adopt instead a 1-4-8 plan which protects just one rival per team as an annual home-and-away foe.  The millionaire coaches making these decisions lack the sense of history that their fanbases possess and therefore they’ve wiped their Berlutti shoes on decades of tradition.

The fact that Commissioner Slive allowed his coaches to make the call on this front will forever be a stain on his legacy.

Slive changed the way conferences make money with his groundbreaking television contracts in 2008.  He has overseen a “Golden Age” of on-field and in-the-coffers success (though his predecessor, Roy Kramer, deserves great credit for leaving him a solid foundation… a foundation that was not left up to the SEC’s coaches, it should be noted).

But just as Slive has proven to be a great businessman, he’s now proven to be a poor custodian, an absentee trustee when it comes to his league’s basketball heritage.  That is very disheartening.  In choosing to lead from the rear, Slive has dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds.

As for the SEC Tournament format that was adopted, well, it was the format we projected months ago, so we’re not pleased, disappointed or surprised on that front.  It was really the only sensible model that could have been implemented.

In all — and this is solely the view of this MrSEC.com writer — the league’s dismal failure on the scheduling front makes the SEC’s current television negotiations all the more important.  If Slive can milk a helluva lot more money out of CBS, ESPN, or both, fine.  Money is money.  But if he cannot, then there’s no debating that this round of expansion will have been a step backward for the Southeastern Conference in terms of finances and tradition.

In 1992, the SEC acted boldly.  It expanded, it added conference games in football, it created a first-of-its-kind football championship game.  The long-term good of the league outweighed the wishes of the fearful, the timid and the meek.  The result has been near unparalleled success in the major sports (and at the bank) ever since.

But as Destin neared 20 years later, we began to have our own fears.  Largely, we worried that the overly-cautious in today’s SEC would be given more power through Slive’s consensus-building style.

With the SEC Meetings now history, it appears that fear has been realized.  That’s disappointing.

The SEC has been built on tradition and today some of if its greatest and oldest traditions were devalued.  Now the success of the league’s most recent additions must be judged solely on the value of the SEC’s re-worked television deals.

Money over tradition.  Gee.  Who’d have seen that coming?

 


41 comments
Interested observer
Interested observer

Wow!   "Overreaction" is the theme of this article.

 

Stop being such a drama queen, Miss...er...Mr. SEC.

safety guy
safety guy

One of the root causes here is Bowl Eligibility. 

 

Lets just do away with Bowl Eligibility.  Who cares what a team's record is. The bowl games are nothing but exhibition games that are TV filler no one other than gamblers and school followers really care about.  Others may watch but there is no real meaning to any of the games to the masses.  Even the current BCS games outside of the championship game have no meaning.  Lets just take the top 9 teams from the SEC and ACC (when they get to 14), 8 teams from the B1G and Pac, and 7 teams from the Big 12 and have them play in bowl games against comparable teams from each conference.  The teams would be selected based on conference record and standings.  The other conferences can have their bowls for their teams as well and can set up eligibility however they want it.  This way we are not creating a farce of out of conference schedules against the little sisters of the poor.  That way we could have better in conference scheduling with 9 or even 10 conference games.  But getting to that point would almost require a 8 team playoff at the end for the championship with the 5 major conference champs plus 3 at large teams in the field.  That is another story.

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

John,

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the B1G has backed off going to nine conference games. The B1G is counting their 9th game the scheduled game with the PAC. I don't see how that is any different than the schedules put out by the SEC. 8 conference games and usually one BCS level OOC game. Some are built in like USC/Clem, FSU/UF and UGA/GT, but most of the big 6 football programs schedule at least one BCS level OOC every year.

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

I am personally not happy with the basketball schedule. I am wondering when the backlash will start regarding the Kentucky basketball fans will start. In the past month they have now ended to of their most popular rivalries - UT and Indiana. Also don't forget that they will not always be playing Vandy twice a year either, and I am sure that Kentucky fans were looking forward to playing Mizzou also. I wonder how long until there are complaints from the supporters that there are less and less big games in Rupp and more big games on neutral sites. When I was in school, it was the Wade Houston years. I never attended basketball games because the product was so bad on the court, except Kentucky. I would go to see a miracle (which did happen), and to experience what TBA could be if the team would actually win. Though it was usually filled with more Kentucky fans than UT fans during those times. The place was still electric and it made you want for more out of our basketball program.

 

Do you think that they might do the 1 permanent game, and the 4 home and home are based upon perceived strength for the upcoming year, not a set rotation? Coach Cal was talking about doing something close to the Big East does every year to make sure the better teams play each other more during the season and the weaker teams play each other to increase the chances of landing more teams in the tournaments, and increase the overall RPI of the conference.

 

Regardless, I am not happy about not playing UK in basketball every year.

RoadTrip
RoadTrip

Totally agree with you, John. It seems the SEC poobahs are actually believing their own hype. Pride goeth before the fall. This is the time to make the big move, not the weasel more money move. They have given the other schools and leagues ammunition to counter the SEC is best claim by wimping out of a 9 game schedule in footbal and destroying basketball's traditions and rivalries. Had they bit the bullet and done the right thing they could have expanded when necessary, and it will become even more necessary now, with Easy Button adjustments that would have kept them on top longer. Now they will be left to scramble to recover. Just goes to show how dumb some smart people can be.

caddydaddy
caddydaddy

John, while I like your website for up to date news about the SEC,   this I "told you so" mentality that you have is the like a weatherman being wrong 50% of the time and keeping their job.   You can throw out several options and say I told you so.   Go back and look at most of your articles and you will see what I am referring to.  Quit digging into archives to cover your views and trying to validate them. 

buddha22
buddha22

Perhaps I'm naive and do not understand SEC politics, but I hardly expect that the 6-1-1 12 year schedule rotation will get even close to being completed one time before changes are made for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the 6-1-1 really is untenable long term. If some of those games are THAT important then perhaps some division realignment would make sense and a 6-2 would then have preserved rivalries AND provided less than decades between visits to off division visits.

AGator
AGator

Only Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have much long term basketball tradition. I remember games in Alligator Alley where only a few hundred fans showed up. Even Kentucky games didn't sell out. Florida-Georgia is a rivalry in football but it's just another game in basketball. There doesn't seem to be anything special about Georgia's basketball team coming to town. I doubt many people will care whether UF and UGA play once or twice a year. Kentucky and Louisville have a big rivalry even though they only play once a year. Only a few people are going to care much about the SEC schedule changes.

 

Things change with time. LSU's biggest football rival was once Tulane. Now they don't even play. LSU fans don't seem diminished by the loss of that game.

 

Florida's biggest football rivals were once Georgia, Miami and Auburn. Scheduling conflicts eliminated two of those games. People barely seemed to notice losing the Auburn game. Tennessee became a rival instead of a team UF rarely played. Now after a few down years, Tennessee is just another game. People will adapt to the SEC changes just as UF fans have adapted through the years.

Gomez
Gomez

John, so the SEC is going to be susceptible to "strength of schedule" attacks because they aren't going to play 9 games?  Right, because the SEC played such non-conference cupcakes in 2011 like Oregon, Penn State, Florida State, Boise State, West Virginia, and Clemson.  Yeah, strength of schedule would be so much tougher if those teams were replaced with Kentucky, Vandy, Miss. State and Ole Miss.   

jwolfe
jwolfe

Missouri and it's new association the SEC won the last shot of a very old baseball rivalry yesterday when Missouri defeated Oklahoma for the Big 12 championship.  Missouri will now play Arizona in the NCAA play-offs.  At the end of the game a hot headed Sooner had to be escorted to first base by the umpire and the Missouri catchers after a high inside pitch.  It was all just too dang good.  

 

My opinion is permanent opponents that count toward the conference championship totally invalidate the conference championship.  Let these teams schedule a non conference weighted game with the rival.  So in a year when the league doesn't schedule them, they schedule themselves in early season perhaps at the opposite venue.  A rival can have a losing season going and jump up and beat an undefeated team and ruin there chances of playing in a top bowl game.  The whole concept is ridiculous.  OR just get the rival in the same division and let them play every year.

FallsChurchDore
FallsChurchDore

Here's my question about the 12-year rotation of non-permanent opponents.  Consider this hypothetical example for Vanderbilt, whose permanent opponent thankfully remains Ole Miss. 

Year 1: LSU

Year 2: at Texas A&M

Year 3: Mississippi State

Year 4: at Auburn

Year 5: Alabama

Year 6: at Arkansas

So with that initial rotation out of the way, the next game would logically be at LSU in Year 7.  But we played our rotating opponent on the road in Year 6, and it seems unwieldy for there to be back-to-back home or road games with these rotating series.  Alternatively, are they planning to instead work backwards with the return games, as follows (building on example above)?

Year 7: Arkansas

Year 8: at Alabama

Year 9: Auburn

Year 10: at Mississippi State

Year 11: Texas A&M

Year 12: at LSU

In that scenario, it would be a decade or more between games we'd have with 2 conference opponents.  I may be missing something here, but I'm curious about how they specifically map this out.

Rumbo
Rumbo

Money over tradition?  It's just evolution John.

WillieT
WillieT

Yep, I'd have to agree - Slive botched this opportunity big-time.  On a positive(?) note, expansion this summer, or next, could throw things back into the furnace for a do-over.

 

IF...

 The oligarchs of the FBS decide upon a playoff format that does not include the 4 best teams in the country (I know, best as determined by whom?), will that cause some institutions to start looking harder at greener pastures? Let's face it, if you've got a 1 loss or better SEC champ, a 1 loss or better Big12, a 1 loss or better PAC12, and a 1 loss or better Notre Dame, would  an unbeaten FSU get the fourth spot in the playoff?

 

Mizzou adds credible roundball chops to the league. The SEC can now claim to be a top-tier basketball league, right along with the BigEast, Big10, & ACC. Especially considering some of the "quality" basketball schools the BigEast recently added.

 

The SEC can now boast solid academics, again thanks to Mizzou. Maybe adding NC State isn't so far-fetched any more. Ditto Va Tech. Obviously contingent upon an FSU departure for the Big12 (or even the SEC).

 

So, while the SEC clearly botched a golden opportunity here in 2012, who's to say they can't right the ship in 2013 or 2014.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Interested observer 

 

Wow!  My opinion -- and it's stated that it's my opinion in the above post -- is the point of this site. 

 

Thanks for giving me an order though.  Glad to know an anonymous poster in a comment box that I PROVIDE for him feels he needs to insult me and hand out orders.

 

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @MiloMoon 

 

You are correct.  We've referenced that on the site before.  Each of the five major conferences will play no less than 9 BCS-level foes... EXCEPT for the SEC.  The Big Ten's teams will play the Pac-12's teams to reach 9 each season.  Last week we suggested the SEC partner up with the ACC -- since four SEC teams are currently playing schools from that league regularly anyway -- to reach 9 just as the Big Ten did.

 

The problem I have in getting some people to understand my argument is that I'm writing to SEC fans who believe -- as I do -- that the SEC is the strongest conference.  Unfortunately, the majority of people outside the South are SICK TO DEATH of the SEC.  Thus the current playoff push to try and slow down the SEC machine.  Those people want to nitpick the SEC any way they can.  And many fans do NOT believe the SEC is best.  You had many media folks making arguments for Oklahoma State to reach the BCS title game over Alabama this past year.  If enough people use the "they only play 8" argument against the SEC year-in and year-out, perception will eventually become reality.  How long before there is a tipping point?

 

LSU played 10 BCS-level teams last year and whipped 'em all until a rematch with Alabama.  But will LSU or Alabama -- in the future -- have their strength of schedule questioned because they play a Mississippi State team that schedules no one?  (Look up MSU's non-conference schedule this year and tell me it's going to help the league's SOS.)

 

Which is why I think the SEC should have just gone ahead and done what it will eventually have to do anyway.  And that's a 9-game schedule.  

 

Sadly, a lot of people don't get it.  

 

It's akin to a Republican -- or Democrat, pick a party for the example -- saying that Mitt Romney is clearly the best choice for president.  Among fellow Republicans, that person would get no debate.  But drop that same Republican at the Democratic National Convention this summer and you can bet he'd be outvoted on that whole Romney thing.  

 

The SEC is outnumbered when it comes to fans and media from other parts of the country who want to see the dynasty end.

 

Why give those people any ammo whatsoever?  Because a home game with Troy will draw better than a 9th SEC contest?  I don't think so.

 

Thanks as always for reading,

John

jwolfe
jwolfe

 @MiloMoon In an unbalanced league 9 games is not that tough for the top 5 teams for example. . . HOWEVER In a balanced league and I would say the Big 10 and Big 12 are a little more balanced than the SEC at this point in football history, 9 conferences games is like having 9 rival games in a row.  So what is right?  I don't know.  But it can't be right to pick a division champion based on a different schedule of opponents.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @caddydaddy 

 

Unfortunately, that's how advertising is done on the internet.  If you saw how many sites per day wrote -- "as we told you first" -- referring to stories that we actually posted months before they did, you'd understand.

 

I'm not big on it, either.  But when we're right, we say it.  When we're wrong, we say it (unlike most sites).  And that's how a site builds credibility.

 

It's no different than CNN, FOX, or your local TV station running an ad saying, "We told you first."  Which all of them do.

 

Finally, I don't think we throw out several "options."  We state our opinion or what we've been told by our sources and let the chips fall where they may, trusting our sources.

 

if you want to argue that the SEC did a fine or poor job on scheduling, then that's what this comment box is for.  Have at it.  State your case and back it up (hopefully in a calm, cool, rational way).  But if you think you can come here and control content or order me to do something, you're barking up the wrong tree.  I'm always amazed when people will use a comment box I provide them by TELLING me to do something -- "Quit blah blah blah."  Uh, no.  I don't take marching orders from a reader calling himself "caddydaddy."

 

In other words, this site -- which doubles and triples in size on a regular basis -- isn't going to change its methods because of your demands.  I'm sorry, but we unfortunately have to play the game just as everyone who's tried to copy us now plays it.  That means telling you when we get something right (or wrong... as in voicing shock over the league's decision to go 1-4-8 in hoops scheduling).

 

Thank you for reading the site,

John

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

 @buddha22 I think the whole 6-1-1 is also a bridge until the next re-alignment wave hits in a year or two. The presidents know it is likely to happen, so why blow up the house and rebuild it this year, when you will just have to do it again in a couple of years. A big deal is being made out of not having a team visit but once every 12 years. I personally don't care how often we play LSU, ARK, Ole Miss, MSU (though I would like to play TAMU more, but that is just because I live in Houston). UT and LSU and Miss st. rarely played before 1992, and permanent rotations were started. As far as I am concerned, not playing the other division so much increases the chance that we will not have a repeat in the SECCG. That is a good thing in my book.

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @buddha22 

 

Or...

 

The SEC could have just gone to a nine-game schedule, protected the rivalries, created better content for TV (meaning more money), guaranteed that cross-division teams would see each other more often, and prevented strength of schedule attacks... all in one simple move.

 

Thanks for reading the site,John 

AGator
AGator

Based on attendance figures the Georgia game drew a pretty standard crowd for a mid week game, a little less than Arizona and a little more than North Florida. It doesn't look like there's much more interest in the Georgia game than any other game. My impression is that only Kentucky and FSU have any special interest to Gator basketball fans. A few people might complain about the changes in a forum like this but the vast majority of people won't care much.

 

 2/11/12   TENNESSEE               12249

 1/21/12  LSU                              12198

 3/4/12     KENTUCKY                 12113

1/28/12  MISSISSIPPI STATE     12045

 2/4/12   VANDERBILT                11270

12/22/11  FLORIDA STATE        11125

12/07/12  ARIZONA                    10531

 01/10/12  GEORGIA                  10506 

 2/21/12  AUBURN                      10150

11/11/11  JACKSON STATE       10059

11/25/11  JACKSONVILLE          10033

11/17/11  NORTH FLORIDA       10013

 2/2/12   SOUTH CAROLINA       10003

12/31/11  YALE                             9119

12/19/11  MISS VALLEY ST         8025

 01/03/12  UAB                             7512

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

AGator...

 

Florida and Georgia have played more than 200 times in basketball.  I'm guessing most Florida and Georgia fans would prefer to continue to play twice a year.

 

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Gomez...

 

You can be a smart aleck if you choose.  But if most of the country is anti-SEC dynasty to begin with and they have an attack point, they'll use it.  In fact, they already are, which was the point of the story.

 

Get back with me in three years.

 

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Rumbo 

 

No, expansion is evolution (though if everything breaks down this summer we'll experience something like we've never seen before expansion- or evolution-wise).

 

My issue isn't with expansion.  It's with poor implementation and short-sighted decision-making.  Expansion didn't devalue dozens of important SEC basketball games today.  Indeed, we showed how the oldest rivalries could have all been protected easily with a 4-1-8 plan.

 

Poor leadership devalued dozens of important SEC basketball games, by choice.  Using a 1-4-8 plan for absolutely no good reason is mindnumbingly stupid.

 

And that has nothing to do with evolution.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

Dynamite fan
Dynamite fan

 @WillieT

 The SEC has won 3 of the last 7 Hoops championships and 6 in the last 20 years (more than the Big East, B1G, PAC 12, and Big XII) and only 1 less than the ACC how can they not be considered and top Basketball league without Mizzou???

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

 @John at MrSEC John, I liked the ACC idea that you floated. Though I would prefer to see UT play Pitt instead of BC, but that is splitting hairs. However most of the SEC programs have and will be playing 9-10 BCS level schools a year. The same as other conferences. So we don't have a scheduling problem, we have a perception problem. It does not help the cause that UGA, USC, UF, and others rarely venture out of the south to play a game. I think that hurts the SEC perception worse than the actual schedules being played. It is going to be hard lining up a PAC school in the future. They are already committed to at least 10 BCS level games. Very few AD's are going to be willing to add number 11. So we either have to push to play more outside the conference or play more inside the conference. If we play more inside the conference, I don't see how that helps the over perception. I remember the old Big 8 days. You had Colo, Neb, and OU all top ranked and praised. They rarely played any tough games out of conference, even against now BCS level foes. A lot of times they would head off to the orange bowl and get beat. People would claim it was because they only played the other teams in conference and no one else. I can see the same perception happening to the SEC regardless if they play 9 conference games or schedule regional rivalries with ACC teams. At least some of the ACC teams would get them across the Mason-Dixon line.

buddha22
buddha22

 @MiloMoon That's a probable scenario for why this will change and why they settled on the status quo. I do believe it is important to see the other conference teams and vice-versa. Always felt the unbalanced schedules gave sometimes big advantages to teams (see UGA schedule this year or kU in 2007 missing both Texas and Oklahoma) as evidenced by the B12 scheduling prior to their unplanned drop to 10 and "embracing" that 9 game schedule.

buddha22
buddha22

 @John at MrSEC Better content or just more of it?

As a coach under this current system I understand why 8 conference games are quite enough. When you add OOC scheduling as MU has with ASU and SU they are already at 10 BCS conf games. Not complaining at all, looking forward to it as a fan, but if it were my millions in salary resting on averaging 9 wins...well, 6-2 and a little realignment for those must have rivalries sounds like the better way. Based on what I understand of collegiality in the SEC and the "all for the betterment...," it would seem the 6-2 would ultimately prevail in some fashion.

 

Obviously, MU has already aquiesced in the old college spirit by giving up their annual homecoming game (just what we've come to call it at Kyle Field for 3rd year in a row) so surely the older members won't be outdone in the name of fraternity when this comes up for discussion again, right?

 

Have a great weekend, love the site!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @AGator 

 

Well, I'll say that Florida is unique in that they don't show great support for a superior basketball program in the first place.  So I don't know that UF is the perfect example.  When you win back-to-back national titles and still your coach can't get a packed house every night the following season, well... that speaks volumes.

 

But I will say as someone who DOES respect SEC hoops heritage -- more than some UF fans, apparently -- games that have been played 200+ times should have been protected.  There was no reason not to protect those games.  Not one.  

 

If I'm guilty of being the only guy in the South who cares about the league's history, then so be it.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

 @John at MrSEC I personally like fb than basketball, so this Dawg fan doesn't know/understand the downfall with the new basketball scheduling.  Any way to explain what happened?

TheN8tureBoy
TheN8tureBoy

 @John at MrSEC The 1-4-8 plan makes no sense. Tennessee has four rivals in basketball: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, and Memphis. We just lost home-and-home with two of them.

WillieT
WillieT

 @Dynamite fan Mizzou adds another solid team to the mix in basketball. While those of us from the SEC feel that our league is "top tier" in hoops, people outside the league still think we're just a football league that happens to play basketball.  The league has generally been Kentucky, then a big gap, then everyone else. Yes Florida has been strong under Donnovan, but look at the last couple of years and they've fallen back into the pack.

 

Mizzou & A&M add strength to the league in football and basketball, (and baseball, and other sports).

jwolfe
jwolfe

 @Dynamite fan good call, go ahead and name the SEC champs in those years.  Missouri helps the league significantly but the SEC has a right claim to be a decent basketball league now.  Actually I think that's one of the big reasons the move for Missouri made sense.  A team like Kentucky gives Missouri a guaranteed litmus test during year's when it's opponents don't do as well as they need to push their rankings up.  It's a great fit for both.  It's a great fit in football, and basketball.  Tragic that Missouri's Big 12 champion wrestling program will not have an SEC venue.

WillieT
WillieT

What's that supposed to mean? are YOU calling ME a "troll"?  If so, you need to go find someone with a triple digit IQ to share the definition of "troll" with you. @Hellbent  @WillieT 

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

 @jwolfe I agree with what you're saying that c-d games ARE STILL SEC games.

 

Obviously, I like them because it's a good "conversation topic" about our conference - the whole "my side's better than your side".  Sort of like how the NL/AL banter is in MLB.

Also, it's per the NCAA rules that conferences of (I think) 12 members must split into 2 groups, play each other in your group, to have a conf. champ. game.  With that set, it's kind of forced us to have these matchups.  I've asked about those other conferences if they have these types of games, & I want to say somebody mentioned 2 teams in the PAC did.  This is what I see as making the SEC "special" against all other groups.  It's like saying in high school "Yeah, we won against all our region foes, but the best victory came from beating our cross-town rival!"

Now, as I've stated on here in other posts, 2 of these c-d games are our history:  GA/AUB & AL/TN.  I'ld hate to see the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" go away or not occur yearly just so Les Miles can have more rotation in these c-d games.  Yes, he has a point that the 6-1-1 (while fair overall) ISN'T the smartest plan to use, but w.  But I see either 3 things happening to change that:  1.  go to 6-1-2;  2.  alter the divisions (the B1G has their "Leaders & Legends" that isn't broken down geographically);  or 3.  expand by 1, 2, or 4 teams (this I see occuring within 5 years).

jwolfe
jwolfe

 @buddha22 and SEC fan, this is a good cross section of thoughts about rotating cross division opponents.  Counting rotating cross division games is a needless way to irritate conference members.  The idea that coaches players and fans won't get excited about cross division games if they don't determine the division title is just not valid.  Actually toning down the do-or-die nature of some conference games could be better for the conference.  Even television people are aware and talk about every team's series record with another team.  Players and coaches are not going to be less aware or determined to win the next match up.

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

 @buddha22It could have happened to anybody's schedule.  But whomever produced the 2012 "changeover" schedule had it approved by the SEC & that's what we're given.

 

Actually, UGA's in a no-win situation:  A.  should they win it all, people will complain it's due to the schedule;  B.  should they not win it all, people will complain they should have because of the schedule.

buddha22
buddha22

SEC Fan, I'm not harping, just stating fact, in this year a schedule that has you missing both Alabama and LSU is a boon when newbie MU gets Alabama...why, it could have been MSU or Ole Miss, but it wasn't.  There can be scheduling advantages when you do not have the same schedule and at 7 and 7, it isn't going to happen.

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

 @buddha22 WHY do people keep harping on UGA's schedule for this year?  Had we not added 2 more members, UGA WOULD BE PLAYING Alabama this season (instead of Missouri)..

 

UGA did NOT set up the schedule this year for the SEC just to benefit them.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @buddha22 

 

More is better.  Some SEC schools schedule well outside the league.  Many do not.  CBS has already said the SEC needs to give it better early- and late-season games.

 

I've made my points a hundred times and if you disagree, that's fine.  

 

But a 9-game, 6-1-2 schedule would have:

 

* Created more/better inventory for television (which would have helped open CBS' wallet more)

* Guaranteed that all SEC schools played each other more often

* Fended off any "they only play 8" strength of schedule attacks

* And protected all of the major rivalries that are ESSENTIAL to protecting the heritage of the league

 

I see no legitimate arguments against a 9-game schedule.  None.  

 

Even those who say 9 would be tougher than 8 ignore the fact that the SEC's clout actually went up and its trophy case filled more quickly when it went from 7 to 8 games.  And those who claim that some SEC teams would have to play 10 BCS-level foes due to in-state rivalries ignore the fact that those teams in the ACC they're playing will already have to play 10 -- as will all Pac-12 teams and some in the Big Ten.

 

My take.  Thanks for reading,

John

jwolfe
jwolfe

 @Dynamite fan Forgot to say Hurrah for Mizzou and the SEC last night as Missouri beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 baseball championship

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