The real point to sticking to an eight-game conference schedule

Here’s a question the SEC would prefer we not discuss.

The SEC could stand to play nine or 10 league games a year as its own league has the usual breathers because of the natural order of things. Auburn, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee were a combined 5-35 in the SEC in 2012 with Kentucky and Auburn going 0-for-16. Last year, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee went a combined 2-22 in the SEC with Arkansas and Kentucky going 0-for-16. With built-in bottom feeders like that often enough, you’re telling me you can’t play nine or 10 league games?

The problem isn’t with the powerhouse programs at the top of the conference.  It’s with the teams on the margin, the ones that struggle to become bowl eligible and the ones that may need an extra win to play on January 1st instead of December 27th..

The way it is with just an eight-game SEC schedule even with the new rule coming to play the above four BCS leagues, members will be able to continue to play such light fare as Sam Houston State, a lower division school that will open LSU’s home schedule this season on Sept. 6, and Louisiana-Monroe, a 70-7 loser to Baylor last year that LSU hosts on Sept. 13, and New Mexico State, a 2-10 team in 2013 that LSU hosts on Sept. 20.

Most SEC teams were playing two or three breathers a year while already scheduling good non-conference games before this new rule. Alabama plays Georgia State and Chattanooga this season. Auburn has Samford, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State. Georgia has Troy and Charleston Southern. South Carolina plays Furman and South Alabama.

Those “off weeks” may get down to two or one in the future with the new scheduling rule, but how about zero breathers? If the SEC is that good, why is Charleston Southern on a SEC schedule?

SEC need, baby.

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36 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

36 responses to “The real point to sticking to an eight-game conference schedule

  1. baitstand

    How else are the “breather” colleges going to pay their athletes without big paydays from playing the major conference schools?

  2. reipar

    Why does Stanford play UC Davis and Army this year?

    • Moe Pritchett

      THIS^^ I see a lot of San Diego St, Portland St, Weber St, and Wyoming games scheduled on those PAC schedules too.

      • Go Dawgs!

        For all the guff that Pac 12 teams want to give us about Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State, I have noticed they don’t really speak up when you ask them about Washington State, Arizona, or Berkley.

        • Mayor

          I wouldn’t be bad-mouthing Washington State just yet. I’m saying they win at least 7 games this season, maybe more.

  3. I Wanna Red Cup

    The SEC should go to a 9 game schedule. We would still have Tech and one other cupcake. As a fan I want to see meaningful games. Schedule a home and home with Notre Dame, Michigan, etc. I bet we would not need a mascot race and loud idiotic music to get the fans into it. Can’t wait for Troy and Charleston Southern.

    • Bob

      If you can’t wait for Troy and Charleston Southern, how can you stand waiting till 2015? ;)

    • Mayor

      Another SEC game would have to be home-and-away. With the WLOCP being played in Jax every year, and UGA struggling to get to 6 home games in every other year, what do you propose for those seasons when Georgia only has 5 home games under such a new system? BTW, for those of you that suggest that “it doesn’t matter if Georgia plays at home” (I’m looking at you, Senator) aside from the financial impact of only having 5 home games you need to study the win-loss percentages of UGA at home versus UGA on the road. Substantially better at home. Apparently you don’t GAS about winning, do you RC?

      • Hank

        You really need to go to a WLOCP. It is a home game in my opinion, because I go every year. Not only are GA/FLA fans there, people bus in from all over the country just to tailgate. A couple of years ago a couple buss loads of kids unloaded in our parking lot. They were all dressed in either red/black or blue/orange. We got to talking to them and asked if they went to either school. They said they were from Missouri or other places and just came for the party. They were having a blast. It is the constant game I look forward to each year.

        • Mayor

          ^^This kind of thinking is what is wrong, right there. 37,500 UGA fans and 37,500 FU fans in a stadium in Florida 200 miles away from campus is not a home game for Georgia. It’s a great party, a fun time at the beach and lots of guys get laid–but it’s not a Georgia home game. You just think that because you are hanging around with Georgia people there. We’ve won the last 3 in a row and all of a sudden there is collective amnesia. Since 1990 UGA is 6-18 in that game in Jacksonville. So go, have fun , get drunk and get laid. But don’t say it’s a home game because that is a load of BS.

          • … We’ve won the last 3 in a row and all of a sudden there is collective amnesia. Since 1990 UGA is 6-18 in that game in Jacksonville.

            Speaking of amnesia, how did things go in Jax in the fifteen years prior to 1990?

            • Mayor

              Duh….I can’t remember…… :)

              • Mayor

                I still haven’t seen/heard anyone address the issues I raised above in my comment to I Wanna Red Cup’s post. Senator? Anyone? Beuller?

                • Would I rather have five good home games than shell out the bucks for two cupcake games as part of the season ticket package? Pretty much a no-brainer for me, Mayor.

                  And Richt’s teams in the earlier part of his tenure were as good in opponents’ stadiums as they were at home (even slightly better, IIRC). So I’m not particularly worried about that part of your argument, either.

                  • Mayor

                    And let Sanford sit fallow for 7 weeks during the season. You’re the one who is always talking about the money. That’s a definite money loser there. Not to mention playing 7 games away. That would sure help the Dawgs’ chances of winning, right? Or are you gonna fall back on that weak-ass “it doesn’t matter where they play since they have such a good away record” crap? Look up the stats yourself. The Dawgs have a better win ratio ‘tween the hedges. But then, nobody seems to care about winning on this blog any more–just having fun at the beach.

                    • LOL. You’ve exposed us all for the frauds we are, Mayor.

                      As far as the “sit fallow for 7 weeks” nonsense, Georgia is going to play at least four games away from Sanford even in your rosiest scenario. And one of those games is the Cocktail Party which pays better than a home-and-home series.

                      Maybe nobody’s responding to you because of the hyperbole.

                    • Mayor

                      Several people, including you, are responding and, guess what, they don’t have any facts to back their positions up. Kinda like you, Senator. All hat and no cattle as you said in a title recently. (You’d take 5 home games–that’s weak shit, brother.)

          • Dog in Fla

            “It’s a great party, a fun time at the beach and lots of guys get laid.”

            You left out the golf. Moves are already underway to impeach the Mayor for high crimes and misdemeanors for failure to spot perfection.

            • DawgPhan

              Yeah I missed the point he was trying to make. Can we move all of our games to this boinkin beach fest?

          • Hank

            It’s an annual, planned vacation where you actually get to go to a football game. Many people actually like the social aspect of football season and that is what that game is all about. It is the last weekend in October or first in November so getting in the water is out for me. I do enjoy the golf on Thursday and Friday. It is like LSU and SC were this year, every year. I started going back to the years the senator referred to prior to 1990. The games in the 90s weren’t the best part of the weekend, but the time leading up to the game ( when the weather was decent) are generally better than any I can remember in Athens in the last 40 years. I’ve got kids the age of the kids I was referring to getting off the bus and have been married for well over 20 years, so that should answer your wondering mind about the getting laid part.

            You should give it a shot.

            • Dawgoholic

              I think the Mayor also misses the fact that with 9 games both us and UF would have 4 home SEC games each year – instead of the 3-4 rotation we have now. The math from there is easy. GT plus two cupcakes in even years = 7 and 4 + 2 cupcakes in odd years = 6. By the way, we make significantly more money off the WLOCP over a 2 year span than we would off a home and home with UF over a 2 year span.

              • Mayor

                Not if it costs us a home game opportunity with another team, you don’t. Not really. When Auburn has 8 home games they make more dough than Georgia does with 6 home games and the WLOCP even with the overt bribery from the City of Jacksonville. But it’s not supposed to be just about the money. UGA fans lose the opportunity to see their team play in person. The same 37,500 UGA fans see this game in JAX every year. UGA has a 90,000 seat stadium. Even taking into account 10,000 seats being reserved for the opposing team, about 42,500 Georgia fans get shorted every other year.

                • By my math, that means about 27,500 Georgia fans are better off every other year. ;)

                  • Debby Balcer

                    +1. Most of us have to travel to Athens so the trip to Jacksonville is just a different direction. If you are a Georgia fan you need to go like the Masters it is a special event.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    It’s strange looking at Auburn and Missouri’s SEC record in 2012 and then comparing it to their SEC record in 2013. uT ain’t going anywhere and looking back at Vandy pre Slick Frankie for ’09 to ’11 nets a 3-21in the SEC. I see more of the same. So is the East now the weakest in the SEC? Which division plays the most cupcakes? I can see that Alabama’s OCS is going to be challenging. How will they fill those stadium seats?

  5. “Breathers” play a role in today’s college football landscape. Charleston Southern wants the $$$ to play Georgia to fund their athletic programs beyond their football programs. The university administration wants the home games to interact with donors and to impact the local economy. The coaches want Charleston Southern for the rent-a-win (GSU/Florida, notwithstanding). The younger players want these games for a chance to play on a Saturday and to show their skills in live action. Fans with young families would use these games to introduce their kids to the game in a low pressure environment. 2 “breather” games is a reasonable request with two games against power conference opponents.

  6. Macallanlover

    As to those barely eligible teams at the bottom of the SEC, how much money does that mean? We divide the bowl money by the fourteen schools with the SEC office getting a share (or two maybe?), and the team expenses getting paid so that is at least around 16 shares. With the money paid by the smaller bowls, is that piddly amount of dollars worth the cupcake games? I know the extra practices are significant but this doesn’t really seem to be a dollar driven issue, $50-100K doesn’t cover assistant coaches salaries anymore.

  7. DawgPhan

    The schedule is fine. This is just the sharks smelling blood in the water after the SEC finally lost a BCS title game.

    Overall the top SEC teams are going to play really tough schedules year in and year out. So what if there is a Ga Southern on the schedule there is also a 4 week stretch where they played 4 ranked teams.

    Going unbeated is still the most important thing in college football. Until that doesnt matter anymore, then the schedule is going to stay this way as it should.

    • Dog in Fla

      “This is just the sharks smelling blood in the water after the SEC finally lost a BCS title game.”

      Thanks Auburn.

      • Mayor

        FWIW I’m damn glad the Cheatahs lost the BCSNCG. They are insufferable enough already–give them a second BCSNC in 4 years and it would be unbearable.

        • Dog in Fla

          I thought about that as soon as I posted but hoped no one would notice

          • The Noticed Onces

            The Noticed Ones
            …. if you want to create your own footsteps in the earth and leave your own hand prints on the skies; if you are the one who doesn’t mind the lines in the coloring book as much as others do, and perchance you do not cling to a flock for you to identify with, then you must be ready for adversity.

            • Dog in Fla

              I have no idea what you’re saying but last time someone noticed me and I said count me in, it was adversity for which I was not ready

  8. Ron

    Geez, playing breathers has always been a big part of the game. Charleston Southern opens at home against NAIA Point University so even the “breathers” play breathers.

  9. Dawgoholic

    If anybody in the top half of the PAC 14, or Big We can’t do Math conferences wants to join the SEC and only play 8 conference games, I’m sure we would make room for them. Otherwise, they should shut up and be glad that they don’t have to play 8 SEC games.