The SEC is in a different place.

Or it may be pretty soon if the ACC goes to a nine-game conference schedule, a move reportedly over half its athletic directors now favor.

But more than half the conference athletic directors want nine games, according to an ACC source, which means those talks will deepen the intrigue as the College Football Playoff era begins in earnest in the fall and leagues jockey for position in the national semifinal. If the SEC feels it can eschew nine games based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games, that conviction will be tested more than ever if it’s on an eight-game island.

The article goes on to note that while the ACC shares some scheduling difficulties with the SEC, it’s more motivated to add that ninth game as a step towards establishing its own television network, something the SEC already has.

That being said, it will be worth watching to note how Mike Slive reacts if the SEC alone has its eight-game conference slate held against it by the playoff selection committee.  Were that to happen, Slive would have a couple of options at hand.  He could throw in the towel and add that ninth game – something that would also garner the conference more TV money.  Or he could hold firm and wait for the inevitable playoff expansion, figuring that it would be much harder to hold the conference schedule against the SEC in a field of eight… or twelve… or, well, you get it.

The other possibility here is that Swofford might be playing this as a lever to get Slive to consider more seriously the 8+1 cross-conference partnership scheduling deal that was floated a few days ago.  That’s not a bad move, if you think about it.

One things for sure, money’s driving this thing.  That means something’s gonna happen sooner or later.  And that means Slive ignores the consequences at his risk.

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12 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

12 responses to “The SEC is in a different place.

  1. James

    I guess the question once we go to 8 teams, which I’m putting o/u at 3 years, is if the revenue from the extra cash games is more attractive to ADs than the extra TV money the 9th game brings in.

    What’s interesting about the 8 team playoff is that it makes this part:

    “If the SEC feels it can eschew nine games based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games,”

    ….totally moot, since you don’t have to justify anything against other conferences, you just have to finish in the top two of a major conference to have a 90% chance of being in the playoff. That selection is going to be committee-based as well, so it’s not like sos is a real thing yet.

  2. I would like either approach, but the 8+1 approach would be better for UGA since UGA, UF, USCe and Vandy are pretty much already there. Of the three East contenders, we definitely have the best ACC draw with Tech as opposed to FSU or Clemson. I would love an 8+2 format where you have an annual ACC rivalry game played sometime during the season and a rotating ACC opponent played on opening weekend in a sort of SEC/ACC Challenge. If ESPN ends up with the ACC Network, it works for all involved especially if you start more scheduling in other sports as well (M/W hoops, baseball, softball).

    • Alkaline

      I think more cross-conference scheduling agreements are great from a competitive standpoint for all involved, though I’d like to see maybe one ACC game and one B12 game annually. (sidenote: Vandy actually dropped Wake Forest starting next year and the ACC moved the Louisville/UK game to year’s end despite Louisville’s protests.)

  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    A 9 game conference schedule doesn’t help Georgia. UGA already has the 8+1 because of Tech and an additional conference game places the Dawgs in a difficult scheduling situation because of the WLOCP. If the SEC goes to 9 conference games there WILL be seasons where UGA only has 3 SEC games at home, and 6 away from Athens (counting Jax as away–because it IS), no matter what assurances are given to the contrary by Slive and company. Sooner or later, to make the rest of the conference schedule fit for the SEC, Georgia will have to do it, just like we had to play Auburn at Auburn back-to-back.

    • Otto

      I don’t want the Jax game moved but it is neutral. However 3 SEC games in Athens won’t work. Further 9 conf games isn’t so bad when 2/3rds of the conf are basketball schools.

      I’d rather see UGA do home and aways with 1 OOC BCS conf team as was the policy. I don’t want it to be ACC teams as it would help their recruiting greatly. Look at Clemson’s struggles winning the ACC since UGA dropped them as a yearly game.

      Keep the SEC schedule at 8 games.

  4. Bob

    I fail to see why we would have to go to 3 home SEC games. That makes zero sense and is easily addressed. On years when we are the visiting team, we should still have 4 other SEC games at home. In years when we are the home team, that game counts and we still get 4 games in Athens. There is absolutely no reason that Georgia or Florida should only get 3 home games unless there is concerted effort to force the WLOCP to a home and home. No reason whatsoever.

    So we get 4 SEC games at home and on alternating years 2 or 3 OOC games at home. And we get the benefit of getting rid of one of those garbage games.

    • Dawgaholic

      Exactly – good point.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Sorry Bob, but your math is faulty. We already have years now where UGA has an SEC schedule of 3 home games, 4 away games and the WLOCP in JAX. My point was, and still is, that if the SEC went to a 9 conference game schedule, in order to make the schedule work for the entire conference sometimes (not all the time) the SEC would make the Dawgs play the 9th SEC game away, meaning 3 SEC home games, 5 SEC away games and the WLOCP game played in JAX. No matter how hard you wish for it to be true, JAX ain’t Athens. So the WLOCP is NOT a “home” game no matter what the SEC says and what BS propaganda the City of Jacksonville puts out there. Oh, and since the Dawgs will be playing 6 SEC games away from Athens that year, the max that the Dawgs could have as home games in such a season would be 6–and that is if we get lucky enough to have that happen when the Tech game is being played in Athens. And that is with the same “garbage games” being played in Athens. If UGA tried to play a “better” team (one that wanted home and away) that would put the Dawgs in an even worse scheduling situation for either that season or the following season, whichever one Georgia had to play the “better” opponent away. So expect more crummy teams to come to Sanford Stadium for a one shot money game. In short, no Clemsons, Arizona States or Okie States any more. Is THAT what you want?

  5. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Hard to blame Slive for his current position. Right now he gets maximum revenue from maximum home games without costing him any BCS access or leaving TV money on the table. I haven’t seen anything suggesting that schedules are affecting carrier discussions for the SEC Network. Why play a card before you know what it’s worth?

    • Scrambledawg

      How are you concluding that he gets maximum revenue. The Big10 Network is a helluva lot more lucrative to their member institutions than the SECNetwork is to ours. And our network deal is only marginally better than the Big10s, but split among 14 teams instead of 12.

      Slive is an amateur.