Is anybody going to teach the SEC a scheduling lesson?

Allen Kenney thinks the WWL might choose to push the SEC to reconsider its adherence to an eight-game conference schedule.

Now imagine a panel of ESPN talking heads hammering viewers and selection committee members with those talking points on Tuesday nights when the committee’s rankings are unveiled. (Great part about Tuesday night: No NFL game to go up against.) Now imagine Kirk Herbstreit doing that on a Saturday night broadcast from Norman. Now imagine Damon Huard talking that noise on a Wednesday afternoon edition of College Football Live. And on and on…

Does the committee snubbing ‘Bama in favor of one of the power conference champs really seem so unrealistic in that scenario? In fact, how many of the “second” SEC candidates since 2006 actually seem immune to that kind of politicking by the debate embracers?

And since we’re dealing in backstabbing hypotheticals, think of the outcry in SEC country if that went down. If it happened multiple times, Mike Slive would need an armed militia to get around Birmingham. Unless the other conferences agreed to expand the playoff before the term of the four-team joint is up, try to find a better solution than adding another conference game.

Seeing as ESPN already owns the SEC media rights for the next 85 years or something, Mickey might even get those extra conference games for free.

Me, I’m a little skeptical about Mickey moving things.  Not that the talking heads won’t stir the pot, but I don’t think ESPN expects to get something (better broadcast inventory for the SEC Network) for nothing.  If it did, we’d already be hearing about that.  As for the pot stirring, I’m guessing Slive’s already taken that into consideration and isn’t particularly concerned.  And why should he be, when Jeff Long is chairing the selection committee?

But.

There’s another way to skin the cat, one that I suspect most of us would cheer.  Consider the question asked by UCF’s AD as he ponders the scheduling world made by Mike Slive’s word:

“I don’t really have an issue with requiring a ‘Power 5′ game; my question is why do they continue to schedule FCS?” Hansen said. “How is that going to be counted? In basketball a game against a Division II school doesn’t count in the RPI. It’ll be interesting to see how that is (viewed by the committee), but that’s the thing that’s a little more perplexing.”

Yeah, I’d say.  So what happens if the selection committee members were to announce that FCS games wouldn’t be counted in their deliberations?  I bet that would move the scheduling needle in a hurry.

If you’re looking for affection and support from the public, fellas, forcing schools out of the cupcake hosting business would get you a helluva lot more love than a weekly rankings show will.

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10 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

10 responses to “Is anybody going to teach the SEC a scheduling lesson?

  1. PTC DAWG

    At each years end it should easy to tell who has the most wins vs top 10 top 25 etc…

    I don’t see it as a big deal at all.

  2. The FCS schools just become Sun Belt, Conference USA/American, lower-tier BCS, and MAC schools. It’s not like UF, for example, is going to run out and schedule an OOC game outside Florida. Until the networks pony up enough cash or the SEC champion gets left out, no way the league adds the 9th game.

  3. reipar

    Not counting those games would only mean more games against Troy State and Kent State. Is that really any better than playing GSU?

    • GSU isn’t FCS anymore. And, yeah, as a start, I’d rather see Georgia play a mid-major program than a FCS school.

      • reipar

        FCS, mid-major, I-AA, whatever. All the same to me. I am hard pressed to imagine more people will actually attend to see us play Idaho State than would for Costal Carolina. Plus now that GSU is a “mid-major” I guess it is moot. The schedule does not have to change at all to meet this possible new requirement.

  4. I go back and forth on the FCS issue. They are great games to take your young kids to and start exposing them to what it’s like to be at a UGA game (obviously this only applies if you have young children, but I do, and I’m looking at it from my point of view). And for the players on the FCS teams, it’s a big deal. One of my buddies played for Furman in the late 90’s and he talks about how big of a rush it was for them to play Clemson in Death Valley, having a chance to run onto the field with over 80,000 fans in the stands and experience that type of environment, he says it was awesome even though they got whipped. Plus, the benefits of throwing some in-state programs a bone to help with their budgets. So I don’t hate having FCS teams on the schedule.

    But yeah, if I had to choose, I’d rather see a game against Clemson than Georgia Southern. And like you said, strength of schedule concerns may trump everything.

  5. wnc dawg

    I’ve always been of the view that the 9th conf game is basically Slive’s last arrow in the quiver. Once the new playoff and network monies stabilize, how else is he going to grow revenue? Add the 9th and that bridges you over until the playoff growth starts.

  6. Moe Pritchett

    my son played at Appalachian State…..I have some Meechegan friends who hid their faces in shame once upon a time.

    • Dog in Fla

      Best game ever for ASU. I bet you and your boy loved it.

      • Macallanlover

        Hell, the whole nation enjoyed it. I will bet that win would be voted in the Top 10 all time “feel good” victories. Combine the Cinderella storyline with the pompous Meechigan attitude and it is a feel good for everyone.