This neatly sums up why Les Miles, Steve Spurrier and all the others who dismiss the need for games like Auburn-Georgia to stay on the SEC schedule can kindly kiss my ass:
To those outside of “Deep South” and “Third Saturday,” it’s a common gripe that in order for those four teams to enjoy their games annually, the rest of the conference is saddled with contrived rivalries like Mississippi State vs. Kentucky or Florida vs. LSU, a game that often creates a disadvantage in strength of schedule for those two teams. If cross-divisional opponents were eliminated in an eight- or nine-game schedule, that would mean more frequent marquee match-ups like Georgia vs. LSU or Texas A&M vs. Florida, and less of Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt.
This particular streak has been especially humbling: Saban is undefeated against Tennessee since arriving in Tuscaloosa, outscoring UT 204-65 since 2007. So why should the conference at large cater to a lopsided affair, especially with a future network and potential playoff committee consideration in the balance?
“And do what, get rid of it, not play it?” asks Michael Hartley, a Tennessee fan from “south of Knoxville” in line to see Saban speak in Athens. He’s here with his girlfriend, a lifelong Alabama fan who’s parking the car at the moment.
“Hell no. I mean, I hate ‘em worse than anybody. But not playing it’s worse than losing.”
I know my opinion on the matter means nothing, but if conference expansion means losing games like these, I’d just as soon see the SEC go back to twelve teams. In any event, giving up these rivalries is like surrendering a piece of your soul. And today’s SEC is soulless enough as it is.
More random bits of college football nourishment for your reading pleasure…
- John Pennington looks at SEC schools’ non-conference schedules over the past few seasons and makes a good point: “There are a lot of people who look at Georgia’s talent and the Bulldogs long run of success who ask, “When’s Mark Richt gonna win a BCS title?” First, those aren’t easy to come by. Second, they’re especially not easy to come by when you play eight SEC contests and you schedule 10 games in five years against BCS-level competition.”
- Another day, another law suit against a company selling player images. When will these amateurs learn their place?
- This doesn’t sound good. At all.
- Michael Felder takes an interesting look at what happens to all those top QB prospects after they enter college. Let’s just say it’s not exactly a science. Makes me appreciate what Richt and Bobo have done with quarterback development all the more.
- Danny Sheridan breaks down the 2013 title odds for you and guess what – it’s all Alabama!
- Skip Bayless talks to Johnny Manziel about Tim Tebow. The mind reels.
- Nifty graphical post about college football drive outcomes.
I love how Mike Slive makes it sound like the conference’s struggles with scheduling are kind of like dealing with a random act of nature, instead of something that was engineered by a poorly thought out expansion move.
Question: What’s the hardest part about juggling future SEC schedules?
Slive: “We try one (scenario), and there’s a knot. We try another one, and there’s a big knot – whether it’s permanent (games), whether it’s traditional games or whether it’s too many games. At some point in time, we’re going to have to unravel one of those knots and just make a decision.”
I’m guessing Slive isn’t using “we” in the imperial sense there. They’ve had three years to arrive at a consensus and it doesn’t feel any closer to a resolution now than when the train wreck started. How many more Destin meetings do you think there will be where they’re still trying to hash out the details?
Jesus, if this don’t cut it:
At some point NCAA membership will have to address the overwhelming ogre in the room: Why does embattled president Mark Emmert still have a job?
The reason could be this simple: Firing Emmert could do more harm than good.
“If you force him out, you’re essentially telling everyone he has failed,” one NCAA president told Sporting News. “When you’re dealing with (litigation), it’s not prudent to admit failure at the highest office.”
If this is how school presidents think, college sports are doomed. By the way, it’s not as if Emmert is fooling anybody else.
“He is incapable of looking in the mirror and figuring out that he could be the problem,” one administrator of a BCS school told Sporting News. “A leader with a personality like that, it affects everyone he manages and it affects the way the organization is run.”
Which is how you get to this rather astounding piece of news.
So by all means, Donna Lopiano, let’s make Emmert’s organization less accountable. It’s done so much to earn our trust and respect.
When I spoke to UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson after the arrest, he wanted this out there: “If you think about the last decade of athletes and particularly the football team, they are not malicious troublemaker kids, they’re not. I don’t think they pay attention to some of the details of requirements that they have to meet. They just don’t rise to their level sometimes. The accountability for that in our state now is much higher. It’s not like 12 or 14 years ago when we had some (players) that could be considered troublemakers. These guys are just young and not thinking about some of the decisions they make. They’re good guys. They’re friendly, they’re respectful, they just don’t always think about their decisions.”
In other words, don’t blame poor ol’ Jimmy. He’s just a guy caught in the middle between dumb lawmakers and dumb kids.
Seriously, I do find it interesting that, in Weiszer’s words, “he wanted this out there”. Is he feeling some heat from the attention?