Damned shame about that rivalry.

I love the way one of the greatest rivalries in SEC history is casually tossed away in the last line of this Chris Low post about SEC expansion:

… The SEC has said it has a contingency plan to play next season with 13 teams, although that wouldn’t be ideal.

There have been reports that the SEC rejected West Virginia, and it makes sense that Missouri would probably want to remain in the Big 12 if it survives.

Officials at Auburn have said they wouldn’t oppose a move to the Eastern Division. Alabama and Auburn could still play every year in that format and also could potentially meet in the SEC championship game. However, such a move would mean rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-LSU would no longer be played every year.

I obviously don’t have a dog in this hunt, but if the cost of going to 13 schools means throwing away a perfectly good, historical rivalry* like Alabama-Tennessee, then the SEC needs to get its collective head out of its collective ass and go back to the schedule drawing board.  Going to a nine-game conference schedule wouldn’t be a bad place to start, and before somebody objects to an unbalanced home/away set up with nine, what the hell do they think is going to happen with 13 conference teams?

Sell off enough pieces of your soul and eventually you lose what made you special in the first place.

*I can’t help but reference one of my more favorite movie lines here:

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33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

33 responses to “Damned shame about that rivalry.

  1. Haywood Jablome

    That’s my objection to expansion in a nutshell. If the SEC keeps the annual West rival, UGA will be left playing TAMU every year from the west with UT playing Mizzou. In the chase of the almighty dollar, the SEC is forgetting about taking care of it’s customer and what has made it special in the first place.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The loss of the Oklahoma-Nebraska yearly rivalry game at the end of the season, which was often for the conference championship, is what many experts believe was behind Nebraska leaving for the Big 10 last year. That is what started all this conference realignment brouhaha in the first place.

  2. Marshall

    Kudos on the “Better off Dead” scene. One of the greatest movies of all time!

    I’m afraid this whole thing is turning into a damn mess! I feel like the SEC may have been afraid it was going to get outgunned and may have outsmarted themselves. Don’t get me wrong–I’m stoked about A & M, but I feel like we’ve got to go to 14. As much as it pains me (and a lot of other UGA fans probably), it’s looking like WVU is our only option as MIZZOU is likely staying put.

  3. Brandon

    I agree, the 3rd Saturday in October does not need to be tossed out, even though I would love having Auburn in our division for our rivalry with them. Who knows if the Big 12 might have had a more interesting product year in and year out if Oklahoma and Nebraska had still met on the last week of every season like in the old days.

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    If the SEC accepts A&M and Missouri, wouldn’t 2 Western Division teams move over? Thus, Auburn and who? Good grief, could we have Auburn and Bama move over?

    • MinnesotaDawg

      No. If two teams moved from west to east, it would mean the East would net +2, and West would net 0. Only one team needs to move for both divisions to net +1 (Auburn).

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      What Hogbody said is right if the SEC adds 4 teams and all are from the West, though.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        Umm, ok. But his post just noted adding Texas A&M and Missouri, which are relevant to the current discussion. Now, if we’re going to further speculate on adding 4 teams (not what his message suggests), then half of such unnamed teams could fit geographically in the east–thereby necessitating no divisional moves at all.

  5. wnc dawg

    I have not been in favor of expansion, but if the end game is adding aTm plus someone else that is a good fit AND we go to a 9 game schedule, I think that’s acceptable. But those sure are some big “ifs.” The B1G has already announced it will be going the way of 9 games (but not ’til 2017 (!)), which will force others to follow suit. I just hate the fact all this is taking so long to play out. It’s beginning to feel like expansion/scheduling is going to be on a constant low simmer/random flash fire for the cfb fan, just like scandals. There is just no finality to any of it, and that really hurts the sport we love. The games haven’t been the biggest story in forever, and that looks to continue for a while. UGH.

  6. MinnesotaDawg

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see to figure out who the 14th will be before we start wringing our hands over the schedule. Looking at it from a UGA perspective, I really wouldn’t mind having Auburn having to play all our division rivals in the East. Also, it may give rise to an opportunity to reconfigure our schedule a bit. Personally, I’d like to see us play Carolina later in the year and Auburn earlier. From a SEC rivalry perspective, it would renew the UF-AU rivalry which was a pretty damn good one before the division split, as well as UT-AU.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Auburn earlier? Me, I hate years when UK breaks up the Auburn-Tech back-to-back finish of our schedule. Those are the two teams I hate most, and I love having them at the end. But, to each their own. Who gives a crap about tradition?

      • MinnesotaDawg

        Yeah, to each their own. Tradition is great, but if given a choice between tradition and competitive advantage, I’ll take the advantage every time. Since I can remember, I think USC tends to play better during the first half of the year, and Auburn seems to play better in the second half of the year. But, of course, no one really cares what I think.

        Traditions have been created and ended throughout the history of college football. Some are more important or significant than others, but they certainly have changed with new traditions sometimes better than the old ones. Simply noting that this is the way it used to be doesn’t always make things better (or worse). The Rose Bowl used to always be Pac 10 v. Big Ten (except when it wasn’t). Do you still bemoan the fact that Georgia doesn’t play Auburn in Columbus? Do you get pissed that we don’t play Florida/AU/GT in consecutive weeks anymore (I’m sure Richt would love that). Are you frequently annoyed that we play UT every year instead of once or twice a decade? Hell, it’s become traditional that we get embarrassed in Jacksonville each year–a tradition that I think we can both agree needs changing.

        As I said, tradition is fine in my opinion, unless changing it may help Georgia win more football games. But it’s too frequently invoked as a reason for staying pat when change actually might be a good thing. In this case, the change of conference expansion (it’s coming whether you like it or not), might afford the opportunity for rethinking our schedule.

        • Go Dawgs!

          Meh. Just win the games. We beat SC more often than not (way more often than not) in those early season games. We’ve beaten Auburn more often than not in the past five or six years in those late season games. Changing the schedule isn’t going to help Georgia win games. It’s just going to mean we’d lose to Auburn in week 2 instead of South Carolina, and maybe beat South Carolina in November. You’re either ready to play the team you’re facing or not. If Georgia ever gets a good team again, you’ll see. Florida and Alabama haven’t had much trouble playing the games as they come.

    • stoopnagle

      Given their success vs UF, it can’t be a bad thing.

  7. Scott

    ” I want my two dollars!!!!!”

  8. Slaw Dawg

    Now that’s a quaint idea…you know, that fans, alums and decades of tradition should matter! Don’t you know that it’s far more important that, say, Nebraska picks up a slice of Big 10(?) goodies than that it continue its storied contest with Oklahoma (which was already diluted within the Big 12(?) itself)? And why should TCU fans have any reasonable expectation of being able to drive to conference games without a couple of overnight stays along the way? Don’t they have TVs and an airport in Dallas?

    Seriously: I’m agin it and jes don’t like it, but if we gotta do it, you can put me in the “geographic balance” camp. Nothing against the fine folk at Missouri–you can’t dislike a state that gave us Twain, Truman and Chuck Berry, and I can vouch for Columbia as a nice town with an attractive campus. But, personally, I don’t have a big problem with WVU, and if bringing it in would make it easier to preserve old rivalries, and we can’t get Clemson or FSU, then I’d personally kinda prefer it to Mizzou. Not that my opinion matters one whit or anything…after all, I’m just an alum and a fan…

  9. Expansion Truth Avenger!

    All talk of lost rivalries resulting from conference expansion is just that, Talk!

    Opponents of inevitable conference realignment are spreading every scare tactic devisable by man to stir up confusion and resistance.

    SEC conference expansion is going to be good for the SEC and Great! for Georgia! You guys just wait.

    • USC QB Coach G.A. Mangus

      Whether it is great for Georgia or not depends on (1) Who the new teams are and (2) Alignment of the SEC East, i.e. who’s in it. If all 4 teams that join the SEC are from the western US and the conference decided to move both Auburn and Bama to the SEC East, that’s not so great for Georgia. We would have those 2 plus Florida, South Carolina and UT (which sooner or later is going to be back) and would have an SEC East schedule including those 5 every year plus LSU in certain years in the East. Show me how that is great for UGA.

  10. Go Dawgs!

    The SEC was fine the way it was. Mike Slive can kiss my ass. The ACC and Big 12 and Pac 1X and the rest of them can all kiss my ass, too. The Tennessee -Alabama rivalry is special, because it usually ends in moderate bloodshed. The SEC is great for many reasons. Most of those reasons have to do with the great, storied rivalries and matchups. I’m sorry, but I give precisely zero shits about seeing Georgia play a rematch of the Independence Bowl, or seeing Tennessee finally settle the score with Missouri. What. The. Hell. Slive?

    • Dog in Fla

      “Mike Slive can kiss my ass.”

      Mike is bypassing your ass to kiss one belonging to one or more of the Kardashians because he knows this season is all about what some chick there says is, “**** your tradition!”

  11. Anon

    We already have an unbalanced home/away SEC slate with 5 away games every other year because of tradition.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Exactly. I can foresee a situation that in some years UGA would have 6 SEC away games (counting the WLOCP as away–after all it ain’t in Sanford Stadium) and only 3 SEC home games.

  12. stoopnagle

    Threadjack: REM call it a career.

    http://remhq.com/news_story.php?id=1446

  13. Bryant Denny

    Actually, Auburn and LSU don’t have long history to their rivalry. They started playing annually in 1992. However, they have played some great games and it is a great rivalry.

    I would rather play UT annually than Auburn.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Along the same lines, many Dawgs would rather play Auburn annually than Tech. The in state rival is “beneath you.”

  14. TennesseeDawg

    Even though it makes absolutely no geographic sense, I say put Missouri in the East to keep down the disruptions.

  15. Watchman

    The SEC has no respect for UT-Bama now as they refuse to move one game every year to get it where it belongs on the calendar. They only care about one thing, and it’s not tradition.

  16. Dawgfan Will

    Better shaver ‘er a little closer before you kiss her good night.

  17. SSB Charley

    I just realized that the tree trimmer was the captain from 21 Jump Street. Whoa.