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Switching To A 9-Game Schedule Tricky, Not Impossible

confused-by-mathSooner or later, the Southeastern Conference will go to a nine-game conference schedule.  It’s easy to see why.  Creating better content for the SEC Network and the league’s broadcast partners (ESPN and CBS) will result in more cash for the league.  And if cash is a strong enough motivator to drive schools to new conferences and away from old rivals, it’s certainly a powerful enough motivator to push through an extra league game per season for each football program.

But getting from A to B could be tricky.  Or so it’s been said.

Before we look at the SEC’s schedule rotation, let’s tackle some fears that are being drummed up at the moment.


“If the SEC goes to a nine-game league schedule, schools will stop playing good non-conference opponents.”

The four SEC schools with annual games against in-state rivals (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina) have made it clear that they would probably nix a quality non-conference game if the league goes to a nine-game schedule.  The reality is that two factors will still play a role in scheduling: the new College Football Playoff and money.

If it becomes clear that teams in other leagues are scheduling 11 big-conference teams per year (nine in conference, two out of conference), then the SEC teams hoping to reach the playoff will have to follow suit.  Strength of schedule is expected to be a key element in picking teams for the four-team playoff.  SEC squads will either do what everyone does or cross their fingers and hope that selection committee members see a nine-game SEC slate as being tougher than other leagues’ nine-game conference schedules.  That’s possible, but with SEC fatigue having already helped push America to a playoff, would the league’s teams want to risk it?

As for money, if the folks at Cowboys Stadium or the new downtown Atlanta stadium guarantee an SEC team a hefty payout to come in and play a good non-conference foe, it’s doubtful that that SEC squad would pass up the opportunity.

The idea that you’ll never see another good non-conference game on your team’s schedule has been overblown.  Most league schools play one good non-conference opponent and three cupcakes now.  If anything — and UGA president Michael Adams recently said this — fans have shown they’re tired of paying to see creampuff games.  It’s likely then that the extra SEC game created by a nine-game schedule would replace a game against an FCS-type foe rather than a game against a decent draw.


“Florida and Georgia could face a year where they have only five home games.”

If you’re going to make an omelette, you’re going to have to break some eggs.  Either a) Florida and Georgia exercise the outs they had to have worked into their contracts with the city of Jacksonville or b) they play at EverBank Field every other year.  That one neutral site game is the most complicating issue of moving to a nine-game schedule.  But we’ll have more on that below.  Suffice it to say, neither Florida nor Georgia would be forced into a five-game home schedule just by shifting to a nine-game conference schedule.


“With a nine-game schedule, some schools will host five games while others host just four… giving those schools with more home games an advantage.”

The Big Ten just adopted a nine-game schedule for its 14-school league and nixed this argument in the process.  Under the new Big Ten plan, all of the schools in one division will play the same number of home games in a given year.  If East teams play five home games this year and West teams play four, next year the West’s teams would play five home games and the East’s four.

As we’ll show below, the transition to such a schedule would not be as difficult as you might think.


Let’s keep a couple of other points in mind, too.  First, thanks to the SEC Network, the league office will have to somehow get more involved in scheduling.  There is no way the league office wants to see a repeat of last November 17th’s “Pay-Per-View Day!”

On that Saturday, Arkansas played Mississippi State, Ole Miss played LSU, Tennessee played Vanderbilt and Missouri hosted Syracuse.  The rest of the schedule looked like this: Alabama A&M at Auburn, Western Carolina at Alabama, Jacksonville State at Florida, Georgia Southern at Georgia, Samford at Kentucky, Wofford at South Carolina and Sam Houston State at Texas A&M.

How much the league will get involved and in what way is anyone’s guess, but that kind of a lineup won’t help get a new television channel off the ground.  So like it or not, the SEC is about to start providing scheduling “tips.”

Second, the new money coming in from the network, the playoff, the new league-owned Sugar Bowl, and a new bowl lineup will more than make up for the lost revenue from a home game every other season.  Pre-2000s, before the NCAA allowed schools to play a 12-game schedule, schools played six to seven home games per year anyway.  That would be the case once more, only with millions of extra dollars from new revenue streams pouring into each school’s coffers.

Finally, those schools with in-state, non-conference rivals would certainly be more limited in their scheduling options.  But that’s the case with an eight-game conference schedule, too.

Trust us not that much would have to change in a nine-game universe.  If the SEC adopted our plan…

Read the rest of this entry »

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SEC Early Entrants 2013

nfl-draft-podium-tightThe NFL early entry deadline had come and gone and SEC teams took quite a hit.  Not surprising considering the SEC leads the nation in recruiting rankings every February and in NFL draft picks every April.  With that much talent in SEC programs, there will always be a number of stars leaving prior to their senior seasons.

In all, 33 players from the league submitted their paperwork to the NFL for early entry into the draft.  More could have changed their mind at the last minute, but for now we know of 33.  That number includes former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu who did not play with the Tigers in 2012 due to a suspension.



DJ Fluker, OT

Eddie Lacy, RB

Dee Milliner, CB



Alvin Bailey, OG

Knile Davis, RB



Corey Lemonier, DE



Matt Elam, S

Sharrif Floyd, DT

Jelani Jenkins, LB

Jordan Reed, TE



Kwame Geathers, DT

Jarvis Jones, LB

Alec Ogletree, LB




LSU — 11

Chris Faulk, OT

Michael Ford, RB

Bennie Logan, DT

Tyrann Mathieu, CB (already off team)

Barkevious Mingo, DE

Kevin Minter, LB

Sam Montgomery, DE

Eric Reid, S

Tharold Simon, CB

Spencer Ware, RB

Brad Wing, P





Sheldon Richardson, DT





Marcus Lattimore, RB

Ace Sanders, WR



Tyler Bray, QB

Justin Hunter, WR

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

Darrington Sentimore, DT



Luke Joeckel, OT

Damontre Moore, DE



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The Daily Feed // 11.24.10

South Carolina
Content provided by Garnet And Black Attack.

Never cross these men.

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Mary Ann Chastain – AP

Never cross these men.

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Steve Spurrier Weekly Press Conference Quotes & Videos | Gamecocks Online

On what he expects to see from Clemson defensively

I’m sure they’ll have a bunch of guys at the line of scrimmage to stop our running game and try to stop Marcus (Lattimore). We may need to throw a little bit more or a little less. You never know until the game gets going. Starting out against Georgia, we didn’t think we’d run 37 times, and against Florida we didn’t know he’d run 40 times, but we got ahead. We know we have to run the ball. That’s what we do best, but we also have to keep finding Alshon (Jeffery) and these other receivers when it looks good.

‘Spurrier Rap’ stirs controversy | The Daily Gamecock
I’m not sure if I can adequately express my admiration for the gumption the creators of this video showed in sticking to their vision. I can understand the University’s not wanting to to appear to “endorse” the video, but the last thing the world needs is another cheesy faux rap video. These guys took a great idea and ran with it. Serious kudos to everyone involved with the project for not delivering another “Party in the UGA.”

Administrators told the students the lyrics were too raunchy. They were also concerned with the burning of the Clemson flag and the perceived thug imagery of the video, according to Thompson. The duo agreed to make some slight modifications but refused to totally adjust the vision of the project.

That meant USC celebrities had to go. With them went Cocky and USC’s cheerleaders.

“They even asked us to cater lyrics about the school and possibly mention the Darla Moore School of Business,” Thompson said. “…

In case you don’t know the video we’re talking about, you can find it here.

Kratch: South Carolina has to beat Clemson | The Daily Gamecock

The excuses are out there. The game is at Clemson. The 6-5 Tigers will consider it their biggest game of the year. USC has a conference title game to prep for, just as Clemson had last year when it came to Columbia and left with a 34-17 defeat. Steve Spurrier often de-emphasized the end-of-year clash with Florida State when he was at Florida and making annual treks to Atlanta.

No excuses. Just win.

South Carolina vs Clemson Preview: The Palmetto State Rivalry | Saturday Down South
What the heck? How did they get a Clemson grad as their SEC Contributor for this week? Breaking down the CAROLINA game? What happened to that Andrew Phelps character?

As a Clemson graduate, it’s hard to say this but I think South Carolina takes this one but by the slimmest of margins… Clemson 20, South Carolina 21

Clemson Football: How Clemson Will Stand a Chance Against South Carolina | Bleacher Report
Has this happened this season yet?

Kyle Parker must also have a good game as the quarterback, and must make better decisions about throwing the football; his decision making has cost him a lot this season.

Gamecock defense gets ‘swag’ back | The Daily Gamecock

In the words of quarterback Stephen Garcia following Saturday’s 69-24 victory over Troy, “The secondary got their swag back.”

A Few Things for Which I Am Thankful | The Rubber Chickens
I’m thankful for victories over Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, the College World Series, and an SEC East Championship.

Gameday 411 | The Daily Gamecock
What you need to know for Saturday’s rivalry game.

SEC Championship Game Schedule of Events | Spurs Up
Get started on planning your SECCG itinerary. You know, for the 12 of you that actually got tickets.




TE Owens down to Gamecocks, Wolfpack | The Post and Courier
Do I spy some irony in that thar Facebook status? I hope so.

Owens had set last Saturday as his announcement day, but none was made. He has not indicated when he will reveal his choice. “This is the hardest thing of my life,” he posted Wednesday night on his Facebook page. “To run with a pack of wolves, or be with the chickens and be a (game)cock.” Sources have indicated Owens has been leaning toward USC.



TRC SEC Weekly Bowl Projections (now with more initials) | The Rubber Chickens
TRC has not-South Carolina going to the Chick-fil-a bowl.

Plucking thoughts from a random Monday | Spur of the Moment
Travy surmises that we’ll end up in the Chick-fil-a bowl. Of course, that’s only if Arkansas beats LSU and Alabama beat Auburn. Those are two pretty big ifs.



Gamecocks ink 17 players during November signing period |
Seems to be a good class. Maybe even National Championship caliber.



Gamecocks Down USC Upstate, 57-41 | Gamecocks Online

Ramon Galloway scored 12 points and Lakeem Jackson added 11 to lead South Carolina to a 57-41 victory over South Carolina-Upstate on Tuesday night.



Staley’s 2011 Recruiting Class Among Nation’s Best | Gamecocks Online
We’re gonna need it.

Gamecock 360: Samone Kennedy | Spurs Up
Better know a Gamecock.



Three Volleyball Signees Named Under Armour High School All-Americans | Gamecocks Online
We definitely need this. The volleyball team’s win column has been an eyesore for quite a while.

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