More scheduling angst

Okay, back to cynical mode.

One of the questions Seth Emerson addresses in his most recent mailbag is what’s going on with conference scheduling, in particular the fate of the crossover divisional rivalry games.  Part of his answer intrigues me.

Slive is good about not showing his cards, but if I had to guess he’d personally vote to go to nine games, which would keep the two major cross-division rivalries. But if he doesn’t get the votes for that – and I’m not sure the votes are there – then I know Slive is sensitive to the perception that he would be presiding over the end of two more storied rivalries. Slive doesn’t like that Texas and Texas A&M don’t play anymore, nor that Missouri-Kansas has ended. Those aren’t necessarily his fault: Missouri and Texas A&M wanted in the SEC, and those were the consequences. But losing the Georgia-Auburn and Tennessee-Alabama rivalries would be more on Slive’s watch.

Now, first, I don’t doubt Seth’s guess about Slive’s preference there.  If you’re not a head coach or an athletic director, a move to a nine-game conference slate makes way too much sense.   In terms of broadcast inventory and attractiveness to the playoff selection committee, it’s close to a no-brainer for a conference commissioner who’s paid to look at the bigger picture.  Slive’s always been pretty good at leading his presidents where he wants them to go, so I can see him pushing an expanded schedule as a compromise between the block that wants to keep the permanent cross-division rivalries and the one that wants to ditch them.

But what if he’s not convincing enough?  It’s pretty clear there’s a lot of resistance to adding that ninth game from the coaches and the ADs.  And the restrained comments we’ve heard on the Georgia side about the Auburn game lead me to think our administration already knows the votes aren’t there to keep the status quo.  So those of us who want the Auburn-Georgia series to be maintained have to hang our hats on Slive’s concern for his perceived legacy?  I know Seth speaks pretty clearly about what appears to be on Slive’s mind, but, dang, so much tradition has already been trashed on Slive’s watch – true, not all his fault – that I question if there really is a bridge too far here.  There are plenty of ways to rationalize the decision if it comes to that.

I don’t know; maybe the compromise will be to stay at eight games, keep the two permanent cross-division rivalries intact and let every other cross-division matchup float.  That’s a scheduling nightmare – for one thing, it will mean long stretches when Georgia doesn’t play certain teams from the West – but as the current mess in basketball indicates, the SEC seems to have a great deal of tolerance for nightmarish scheduling.

What I feel certain of is that fan preference isn’t driving this bus.  I’m just hoping they do enough to let us have a comfortable seat on it.  After all, we’re the ones paying for the ride.

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UPDATE:  If Slive is looking for some more ammo for an argument to go to a nine-game schedule, he might want to take a look at this.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “More scheduling angst

  1. heyberto

    If they ditch the UGA / Auburn game, I will probably give up my season tickets. I can just pay for tickets to the games I can go to on stub hub and come out better. I’d rather support the university, but with more cupcakes, I’m just not interested in spending that money on subpar product.

    • JC

      This.

      So…we’re close to trading a 117-game rival for an annual game against Mizzou? They can keep that….and I’ll keep my cash.

      • This is another point we should be hammering home on social media and with nicely worded emails to university and conference administrators.

        • heyberto

          I agree, but I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that I’m holding the Athletic department hostage as much as I’m saying It’s no longer worth the money. So it’s not a threat as much as it’s the reality of what’s going to happen.

          • Definitely agree – I think we need to make it clear that trading Auburn for Mizzou is not what we as Georgia fans want at all. The problem is all of the talk is that everyone hopes that the vote will go this way. I’m not hopeful because the administrators don’t want 9 games to give up a rent-a-win (coach), the home game revenue (AD), and the donor entertainment (president).

            • heyberto

              I agree. But I’ll also say if they do dump Auburn from the schedule, I predict it won’t last. I think the 8 game schedule is doomed for a number of reasons.. fan preference is pretty far down that list though.

  2. Let’s make it clear that we won’t be purchasing the SEC Network if the Georgia-Auburn series doesn’t continue. That’s the only way to get the suits’ in the SEC offices to listen to the wallets. Oh, I meant the alumni and fans.

  3. FCDore

    Slive is on his way out in a couple of years. It’s obvious he wants a 9-game schedule, and as the Senator noted, it makes sense to everyone except coaches and weak-kneed ADs. If the commish really feels strongly about it, then I would gather the 14 presidents in a room, close the doors and turn off the cell phones, and explain in a way that we fans all understand why this is good for the league’s on-field performance and their cash balances. Then I would lock the doors until 8 votes for a 9-game schedule appear.

    He should also seek input on how to deal with this from Roy Kramer, who had to put up with much of this in 1992 when he added both an 8th conference game AND a championship game following the addition of South Carolina and Arkansas. Coaches screamed that the league would never win another national championship.

  4. sniffer

    How does the nine game schedule kill us, again? So, we will play Bama, LSU and A&M a little more. We will also play MSU, Ole Miss and Ark an little more. The reality is that only one team in the country truly has a great year and that is whoever wins the BCS Playoff thing. Everyone else failed by degree. I would rather play nine conference games, strengthen the schedule and play it out.

  5. AthensHomerDawg

    It’s all about scheduling. Look at Alabama’s SOS. Nobody else does. Saban wants what he wants to benefit Saban. He wants to squeeze out any advantage he can for his NC legacy. If He’s got uT as his permanent East rival that chance increases imho. Butch is there for the next 4 or 5 years and I don’t feel like he’s going to beat Saban. “Butch Please” t shirts notwithstanding. I hope they never sell Palohol in Tennessee. Especially now I think they might be inclined to misuse it there. That could be fatal. We’ve all enjoyed smacking Auburn around the last few games… while they were down. (Not last season… but close). The traditions of Southern football have an important entertainment value. I love it that the Auburn rivalry provided us with moments like. Hunker it down guys, they broke it up,they broke it up, the clock keeps running …running. Oh look at the Sugar falling from the sky.” If we keep losing traditions what will college football be like in ten years and will it matter? Kids aren’t going to games like they use to. Many of the fans that grew up on Georgia football lore won’t be around forever to complain about it. Dad doesn’t go to games anymore. He’s in his 80’s . Broke his back while in the military. Did the by-pass dance. Can’t remember where he laid his Samsung Note3 phone sometimes but he’ll tell you how to rebuild a Carter carb and that it was Carter that made the first carbs for Weber to stick in those first 911 Porsches. Go figure. I asked him about the 9 game schedule. He said. : “They’re gonna do what they’re going to do. It’s like growing old. Nothing you can do about it…. might as well make the most of it if you can.”
    Indeed. So if we have to go to a 9 game schedule to keep Auburn so be it. Now if they stop putzing with parking and lift tail gating restrictions I’ll make the most of it……..and about that music.

    Fast forward to 1:10 Thank goodness there is youtube. If I ever have grandchildren I’ll be able to show them what football was like “back in the day”.

    • Dog in Fla

      “Carter that made the first carbs for Weber to stick in those first 911 Porsches”, the 914/6’s and the making of the Keith Olbermann and Catch-22 guy’s award winning NSFW movie, “Argo” when some of the extras wanted health and dental

    • sniffer

      AHD, were those Carters side draft or down draft? Maybe the Senator knows.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        3 barrel downdraft. If I had to guess Bluto is a Porsche enthusiast not a hobbyist. It was stuck in a corvair too. They were bad about getting sideways in a turn because of the rear mount engine I think. Here is a Mustang rebuild we did some years back. Boys were in HS. Yes those are Weber carbs. Yes that is a trip 6 on a inline six. Grandpa supervised.
        Enjoy!
        http://s638.photobucket.com/user/joejoe44/library/Sally?sort=3&page=1

        • sniffer

          If you didn’t cuss that linkage at least 3 times, you’re a better man (and mechanic) than I am.

          Beautiful rebuild, btw..

          • AthensHomerDawg

            Hah. You’re too kind and probably a much better mechanic. Linkage sucked. That linkage was off the shelf and meant to be a stopgap while grandpa designed and built the real one. Time and interest fade and it never happened. Kids learned a lot and their grandpa had a lot of fun. Guy from Italy bought that car. Boys used the money to buy their cars for college. And that was what it was all about to begin with. Win win??? I used to park it in front of the Grill with the top down. Drew a crowd. ;-)

  6. cube

    I’d really like to know whether Morehead and McGarity ever vote against a 9 game conference schedule. Because if they do, that’s a vote to get rid of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

  7. Macallanlover

    The void in vision in the leadership positions dealing with NCAA and SEC issues is frightening. I have long chosen to cherry-pick games as opposed to season tickets, I fear this approach will grow rapidly as the lack of quality games drive more and more fans to watch from home. This isn’t a “me” issue as I have already made this decision but, coupled with other changes, the loss of tradition will quickly erode the social impact of attending games. That experience is the only thing holding it together now, imo.

  8. If only scheduling was like it was in the John Wayne movie Trouble Along The Way…circa 1953. What a great movie depicting the beginnings of College Football.

  9. Noonan

    I have pretty much decided that before the end of my days, bureaucrats will ruin everything dear to me.