If, like me, you think a fourteen-team SEC has to go to a nine-game conference schedule to preserve a passing familiarity between schools in opposing divisions, Greg McGarity isn’t exactly giving a lot of warm and fuzzies on the subject.
QUESTION: The SEC schedule: How close are we?
ANSWER: Well, we meet in Birmingham (this) week. So hopefully we’ll have more information from the conference office at that point in time. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty and it’s becoming crunch time to where we really need to know what the schedule is as we move forward and start our planning for next year.
QUESTION: I know there’s a lot of moving parts. Is anything set as far as Georgia?
ANSWER: No, nothing is really set. We really don’t know who we play in the West (Division). We’ve just got to find out exactly the piece of the puzzle there, because of with the institutions involved. You’ve just got to try to make everyone pleased and I think the discussions have not been centered around who plays who in the conference. The discussion has been in your non-conference opponents, and dates and things of that nature. You don’t see a bunch of athletics directors upset with who they play in their conference. There’s a lot of uncertainty with the non-conference scheduling piece, the date changes and things like that.
QUESTION: With Missouri coming in the East, is that at least a game that is set?
ANSWER: We’ll know for sure (this) week. I don’t think I can sit here and say anything’s a certainty, other than we know we’ll definitely be playing the other SEC teams in the East that we’ve been playing before.
QUESTION: Auburn, too?
ANSWER: Hopefully they would be our traditional rival in the West. So I’m hoping that stays as is.
I see. He’s hoping that Georgia’s longest standing conference rivalry will survive the SEC’s latest rush for dollars. Color me comforted.
But at least they’re being wise stewards over the mess they’ve created. Yessir:
QUESTION: Would going to nine conference games work back into it at some point?
ANSWER: No. That has not even been discussed, and I don’t think it will even be brought back up. I think schools have already scheduled out as far as 2016, so having to break those contracts … a lot of money (is) run up in liquidated damages if either school pulls out of a game. I will never say never, but right now, there has been no discussion of any nine-game schedule. [Emphasis added.]
Heaven forbid having to stroke a check to East Cupcake A & M because the fans might want to see Georgia play Alabama more often than Georgia Southern. Although I suppose I should give McGarity credit for at least having the decency not to concoct some bullshit story about how this is actually good for the fans.