What hath Mike Slive wrought? Stay tuned.

If you’re looking for the canary in the coal mine on what to expect in the brave new 14-school world of the SEC, this may be it.

The Southeastern Conference’s new-look football schedule for 2012 may result in the end of a television staple.

Florida and Tennessee have met every year on CBS since the network became the primary broadcaster of SEC games in 1996, but that matchup has stout company this year because of the juggling that occurred when Texas A&M and Missouri joined the league. The Gators and Volunteers are playing in Knoxville on Sept. 15, which is the same day Alabama and Arkansas will vie in Fayetteville.

“Normally you don’t have that kind of selection on that day because Alabama and Arkansas in past schedules has been a week later,” CBS Sports executive vice president Mike Aresco said. “Alabama and Arkansas is a game we’ve done the last three years, so it does give us some options on that first Saturday.”

Lord knows, when you’re spending top dollar, it’s good to have options.  And Florida and Tennessee haven’t exactly torn it up the last two seasons.  So on one level, I understand why this might come about.  But it’s still a little disconcerting to see a staple – a meteor game which is the only league contest CBS has shown all 16 years – casually tossed aside like a Mississippi State-Kentucky game (they, too, combined to go 12-13 last season, if you’re counting).

This isn’t an eight-game vs. nine-game conference schedule complaint.  It’s more of a “this is what you get when you rush into a half-assed decision because you’re worried about other conferences making more TV money than you are” one.  The more fallout I see, the more I’m convinced there isn’t any overarching plan in place to manage the conference’s growth other than the obvious rake in as much green as you can approach.  I guess in today’s SEC, that’s what constitutes being fan friendly.

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23 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

23 responses to “What hath Mike Slive wrought? Stay tuned.

  1. Spike

    I still don’t get adding Mizzou to the SEC.

    • Normaltown Mike

      TV.

      St Louis and Kansas City are 2 untapped TV markets added with one team.

      That and the chance for SEC fans to spit in the Mississippi River (an old Missouri tradition) in route to Missouri games.

  2. wnc dawg

    Yeah, I have to eat my words. I said repeatedly during the expansion talks of June 2010 that Slive and Co. had to have it mapped out if aTm was invited. Sadly, it is obvious they didn’t/don’t. I’m still holding out hope that the next TV deal or market pressure will make this worthwhile through a 9 game schedule, but it looks as if all we get is losing Auburn annually. And cupcakes galore for the carrot of tOSU or Clemson every 8 years? What a bargain…Honestly, all of this would be more palatable if they weren’t treating us like rubes and telling us it’s shineola.

  3. Between expansion and its fallout, the coming implementation of a playoff, which you have to expect they screw up, the constant tinkering and the NCAA’s ongoing general ridiculousness … are we coming to a day where we look around and think “I can’t believe they did it, but they screwed up college football.”

    Not to the point that it tanks, but enough to stop its growth, take a small chunk from its popularity and have the next TV contract, the next decade of attendance figures, etc., go down for the first time in memory?

    • Yeah, I think that’s exactly what’s coming.

      Put it this way: who among the current group of decision makers gives you any confidence they can avoid screwing the pooch for the fans?

    • The Lone Stranger

      It is a jarring blast of reality, but any over-reach / greed-based growth inevitably leads to a diminished product, be it donuts, hamburgers or (tragically) college football. And I use tragically in seriousness — I can go elsewhere if I need donuts or hamburgers. I hate these money-driven swine.

  4. Beak

    No reason to have UF/UT on cbs if they both are down

  5. reipar

    Soooo the down side to SEC expansion is I get to see a good football game that weekend instead of what use to be a good football game?

    Not really seeing the problem here, but I will try to fit in as best I can….the sky is falling!

    • Biggus Rickus

      I’m with you. Really, I’m not really all that concerned about any of the looming changes, except the possibility of losing Auburn. Georgia will still play 12 or hopefully 13 of SEC caliber football. I’ll still hate everyone else in the league. If they wind up saving the Auburn game I’ll have no complaints.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree with beak and reipar, if the TN/FL game isn’t the prettiest girl at the dance, it should not get the top slot anyway. It isn’t like it won’t be available on ESPN following the Bama/Arky game. What is so special about being on CBS? In many markets outside the South the affiliates do not even take the CBS feed, in others the same station carries the 12 or 12:30 games so the CBS local feed misses much of the 1st Qtr.

      I think the Senator is right though, it is apparent the decision makers at the top of the SC seem to be flying this plane and reading the instruction manual at the same time.

      • Cojones

        I, for one, wanted the addition of two teams (My choices were A&M and VaTech) and touted the fact that certainly the SEC can employ computers to figure out schedules that will please everyone. My friggin’ mistake. The industry I worked in would have had the problem solved by the IT group, post haste. I just didn’t foresee that the abbacas was still in use.

        What hath Mike Slive and the dumbass Presidents wrought, indeed.

    • Amazing… you already know it won’t be a good game. CBS itself doesn’t make that call until the week of the game.

      • Macallanlover

        I don’t think any of us were insinuating we knew which would be best, but you kind of led the inning off with your statement about it being shameful to see a meteorite game casually tossed aside. I think we are saying there is no entitlement to the 3:30 spot not for UGA/FL, not for TN/FL, not even for the Iron Bowl, imo. Just show the very best games, and preferably not on top of one another. I like the SEC games on ESPN at night better than the CBS games, just one opinion. Unfortunately there is a huge overlap with them. Give me a 12:20, a 3:30, a 5:00, a 7:00, and a 9:00 for spacing. If it is that damned cupcake weekend in November, give me the other conferences.

  6. Cojones

    Does this mean that they won’t be showing the Ga/FA Owls blockbuster that day? Thank God!

    • reipar

      Thank God? I am not following. I want every UGA game on TV. I will be there so not an issue of viewing, but it cannot hurt recruiting to be on TV.

      • Cojones

        I don’t get a warm a fuzzy feeling when my team has superior credentials at such a meeting and crushes them into the turf for the opponent’s school to get a few bucks while their players risk life and limb. On the other hand, if that superior team gets drummed on a bad day and looks like crud, I don’t want recruits to have that shoved under their nose by other teams.

        • UGLYDAWG

          I hope we’re not looking at Thursday night football….or even worse, Friday night football…but if the money’s there, it’s a way to squeeze in more tv time. It’s also a really good way to thin out the crowds.

        • reipar

          I am going to guess you are not a 14-17 year old high school football player. They seem to be moved by things that I do not understand such as being sent 105 letters in one day. Pretty sure your (and mine) lack of a warm fuzzy is not what drives recruiting.

          Now if we lose to the owls (or whom ever I-AA team) not like recruiting is much of an issue any way is it.

  7. JRsec

    The solution to Aub vs Uga is simple. Move both Auburn and Bama to the East and Mizzou and Kentucky to the West. Kentucky hasn’t beaten UT in almost 3 decades, some rivalry. Besides UT would still have Vandy. The East would get stronger in football and if divisional play comes back in basketball it would help balance the West to have UK & Mizzou. Furthermore Mizzou could develope its natural rivalries with Ark, A&M, LSU, & the Miss schools and a great rivalry with UK that could be played every other year in Kansas City. The only fly is Bama. They don’t want Auburn in the East for fear the Tigers could then recruit Ga. & Fla. better. Besides this is all temporary pending #15 & #16. The sooner the better!

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