The SEC’s rich tradition with cupcake games must be honored.

Once more, with feeling:

… Templeton reiterated that the 2012 SEC football schedule is a one-time model that was done “strictly to make it work” after A&M and MU joined in the fall and that the conference will start over in terms of putting together a long-term format.

About the only certainty going forward is that the number of conference games will be fixed at eight.

“We’re not going to nine,” he said. “The competitiveness in our league week-to-week is just too strong. It would be an easier scheduling format, but I don’t think it would be fair to our players or our coaches.”

A key question is whether the SEC will proceed with a permanent cross-divisional rival. For next year, anyway, that rival for Mizzou of the SEC East will be Texas A&M of the West.

But with six division games, having a cross-divisional rival means schools from different divisions might not see each other for more than a decade in football.

“That is a huge question that has not been answered … It will be an interesting debate,” said Templeton, adding, “I think anything else is on the table for discussion. We’re going to have to make some tough decisions. Are we going to stay with the permanent opponent, and then (if so) how are we going to rotate that one other game?”

And yet for basketball, they’ve decided to expand the conference schedule without much soul searching.

… As for the basketball setup, Templeton said the SEC will stay at 16 conference games next year but move to 18 in 2013-2014.

Just like that.  Is the SEC that uncompetitive in basketball?  Or are its basketball coaches not as whiny as the football coaches are?  Traditionally speaking, of course.

66 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

66 responses to “The SEC’s rich tradition with cupcake games must be honored.

  1. Nate Dawg

    Soo…ya’ll know were gonna loose that Awbarn rivalry…right?

  2. reipar

    I just hope the anti-playoff crowd does not have to much cross over with the pro-9 game SEC conference schedule crowd. If so I fear that will be one unhappy group for years to come.

  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    If the conference drops the cross-divisional game altogether, everyone in the SEC East should then just secede from the SEC and form the Confederate States Conference (“CSC”). UGA could always play anybody from the SEC West it wants to play as an OOC game anyway. Bama and Auburn would be clamoring to get in.

  4. Bob

    Amen. Cream Puff Scheduling…the Floridazation of SEC football. ;-)

  5. If not for the divisions, the scheduling would be easy. Everybody has 3 permanent rivals and rotates the other 10 teams, 5-on, 5-off, every 2 years. Each team would play all other teams home-and-away over the course of 4 years. The top 2 teams play in the championship.

    It has the advantage of simplicity and would be great for the fans, but the SEC wouldn’t do it even if they ignored the division requirement for championship games (which is a silly requirement iyam).

  6. charlottedawg

    Again, can someone please explain to me why we added A&M and Mizzou to the fold? Seriously, how much additional revenue could they possibly bring to the table and why are we going to a 14 team conference when nobody in america has more than 12 teams a conference? I truly do not see the logic behind this move.

    • TV $$$. Slive wanted an excuse to renegotiate the contracts with CBS and ESPN.

      • Doug

        Basically we saw our neighbor pull into his driveway in a new car so we decided we had to race out and get a new car too — only his new car wasn’t that much nicer than the one we already had. We had a Passat SE, but then he pulls up in a Passat SEL, so we went out and bought a Mercedes S-Class that only takes premium gas and that’s killing us with maintenance/insurance costs and oh, by the way, the wifey hates it.

        OK, maybe I stretched that metaphor way past the breaking point, but you get the idea: We overreacted horrendously to a not-all-that-threatening situation and it’s gonna bite us in the ass. Slive was so hell-bent on keeping up with the Joneses that he forgot we are the Joneses.

      • Could that be what the refusal to consider a 9 game schedule and the threat of losing old rivalry games be Senator, a negotiating ploy? “Fine, we’ll give you 9 conference football games and keep the Auburn/Georgia and Bama/UT traditions, but it’ll cost ya an extra $100m per year.”

        • Cojones

          You may be onto it. The idea of too much competition with 9 games is bred from Big 10 and other conferences. Bullshit. Ain’t skeered.

    • Dog in Fla

      Colonialism? And with Missouri, there will finally be some basketball competition for Kentucky.

  7. gastr1

    Honestly, the question about why the BB coaches don’t care and FB coaches do can be answered quite easily: Playoffs (or the lack of them).

  8. Dawgaholic

    The rivalries aren’t going anywhere. (AU-UGA, UT-Bama, UF-LSU) It is more likely a 15th team is added and we have a 4 team playoff (3 division champs plus wildcard) in the SEC each year than the rivalries go away – and the 4 team playoff is about as likely to happen as the cocktail party being played in Jacksonville blizzard.

    The fact is, everything has a price and it looks like the price for the 9th game will be very steep.

    • If they go to 15 schools, they’ll go straight on to 16.

      To do a four-team conference tourney, they’d have to get the NCAA’s permission to add another game to the schedule. Not bloody likely, especially if a multi-round BCS playoff is coming.

      • If we went to 16, where are we stealing 2 from?

        • The other Doug

          Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            A good possibility although there have been hints that the SEC doesn’t want 2 teams from the same state as it already has enough of that. More likely would be Virginia Tech and NC State (to get the DC/Virginia TV market and the NC TV market) but NC State has the basketball rivalries with Duke, UNC and Wake and it might be hard to get the Wolfpack to leave the ACC because of that.

            • Skeptic Dawg

              The problem with Va Tech is that UVA tags along like the little brother. So, it is either Va Tech and UVA or nothing. That is package I would take. However, if the SEC is solely interested in “more markets” this deal will not fly. And as fans we are left with the same crap that the powers that be have already handed us.

              • 81Dog

                VaTech and NC State have something in common with Texas A&M: they’re both schools who regularly are treated with contempt by their in-state brethren, and who both could bring potentially lucrative new TV markets to the SEC. You think VaTech people get tired of the snobs in Charlottesville sneering at them? You think NC State people get tired of being called the cow college by the snoots in Chapel Hill? It’s actually worse for NC State, because they have the snoots in Durham sneering at them, too. What better way to give their tormentors the finger than ditching the ACC for the premier football conference in America? Both get more money, both dent the ACC’s tv appeal (and thus, their tv money, which dents the wallets of said tormentors).

                Imagine having an annoying neighbor (or two). What better coup de grace could one administer than by moving to a better neighborhood while simultaneously inviting the operators of a meth lab to take over your old place? Think that dents the annoying neighbor’s property value?

                Me, I hate that the SEC added S Carolina and Arkansas, I hate going to 14 teams, and I’ll hate 16 teams. But this is all about tv money, which makes it all about delivering new eyeballs in new and large markets. A&M and Missouri were the two top targets (and denying them to another conference was important, too). If VaTech and NC State are the next two, it will happen no matter how much any of us, or all of us hate it. As long as ESPN loves it and will pay for it, it’s a done deal.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  With regard to NC State, joining the SEC would also immediately put them in a different recruiting posture and allow the Pack to blow by UNC and the rest of the ACC schools. If NC State continued to play UNC, Duke and/or Wake or any of the other ACC schools as OOC games then NC State would demolish them repeatedly and easily. That, sir, would be the best revenge.

              • Um UVA as the little brother to Va Tech? Call me skeptical – if anything Va Tech has been the little brother in that relationship for its entire existence. Excellent football notwithstanding, Va Tech needed to get politicos involved in order to receive the ACC invite.

                Personally, I think Va Tech and NC State are the right team and ripe teams for SEC expansion. I would caution that adding Va Tech automatically buys you the DC TV market (Maryland is a better fit) but it does get a foot in the door and solidifies the rest of VA (Norfolk/Hampton Roads & Richmond.)

                NC State is a no-brainer. The school profile is a close match to most SEC schools, it will bring in Raleigh and Charlotte. While they would struggle in football for awhile, they would be competitive in most other sports.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  I hadn’t thought of the University of Maryland. That is a great idea. the University of Maryland is right in the heart of the DC metro area and is the primary university of a major state.

      • Cojones

        I don’t get it. Why not play a 9-game schedule. This isn’t a friggin’ dance contest. What happened to the Mich and UCLA creampuffs we used to play? That was like playing 9 conf games. Let Dooley schedule our games. He is still in an Emeritus standing , isn’t he?

  9. DawgPhan

    I would be sad if we stopped playing Auburn every year. that would really suck.

  10. Dog in Fla

    “But with six division games, having a cross-divisional rival means schools from different divisions might not see each other for more than a decade in football.”

    Which may be about as infrequent as it was between some SEC teams prior to divisional play in 1992.

    • 81Dog

      everything old is new again. Like the 18 game conference schedule, which everyone used to play until fairly recently.

      • 81Dog

        in basketball, I mean. Though I imagine if ESPN will pay for it, the Mike Slives and Mike Adames of the world will “reluctantly” approve it.

  11. UGLYDAWG

    I feel a little differently. SEC teams do get beat down as the year progresses. Not so in basketball, where injuries are not as big. Also in basketball, there are a lot more games., thus more room to fit in the full conference.
    I think the rush to expand was wrong. It’s a mess and it will do nothing but hurt the whole conference in the long run.
    Texas A&M was a better addition than Misery, but they are both mistakes. No longer can we say “it’s about more than football, it’s about our way of life against their way of life”. (Grizzard..rip), because these schools are so different the traditional SEC. I don’t like it. I would rather play ANY of the traditional SEC teams than Missouri. It just ain’t gonna be the same.
    If we’re going to rock the SEC world, I wish we could have done it differently.
    As it stands now, we’ve fixed something that wasn’t broken.
    Go ahead and expand it to 24 and have four divisions of 6 each…hell- make it 32 with 8 each…just imagine the possibilities.
    Missouri my eye.

  12. Connor

    When UGA has stopped playing Auburn annually and the coaches and players talk of “Just getting into the post-season so we have a shot” I’ll know it’s time to stop investing my time or interest in college football.

  13. Mike

    I think the league should go to nine SEC games. Too many opportunities for too many team to accidentally have too easy a schedule otherwise.

    • DawgPhan

      no one complained about easy schedules when UF was up.

      • Will (the other one)

        I’m also wondering where the “Spurrier won all those titles because DiNardo was at LSU and Goff and Donnan were at UGA” articles are.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Be careful what rocks you kick over Will. Someone might start looking at who the rival coaches were at the teams UGA played regularly during the Dooley era. Ray Graves, Doug Dickey (UT for him, too), Charlie Pell, Galen Hall and an assortment of others at Florida, a series of losers at UK and Vandy, Bud Carson, Bill Fulcher, Pepper Rogers and Bill Curry at Tech—Well, you get the picture.

      • Mike

        Florida NEVER had an easy schedule. At least, not when they were winning championships.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Mike, Florida played an SEC East schedule which included Vandy, Kentucky, South Carolina (when it was a doormat) and very often Ole Miss or Mississippi State from the other side plus 3 OOC games against cupcakes (the 4th being against FSU) EVERY YEAR. Did the Gators beat some good teams, too? Sure. But they only played half a schedule at most. That was why it was easy for them to be so highly ranked and get in the BCSNCG when they did win the SEC Championship. I’m not criticizing. I thought it was smart of Foley (we now know it was actually smart of McGarity) when it was going on.

  14. FCDore

    As a Vanderbilt fan, I’m not overly fond of the potshots at our beloved coach (not the Missouri quarterback!), but you’re absolutely on the money here. As much as I enjoyed watching the SEC – Southern Conference challenge during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, it’s time for a 9-game conference schedule, especially since the Pac 12 and Big 12 already have it. Perhaps if a 1-loss USC team is chosen over a 1-loss SEC team for next year’s BCS championship because of its strength of schedule, folks may change their minds.

  15. Otto

    UGA didn’t face ~25years. 53 and then ’78/79 and then not again until ’86. UGA played UT in ’37 and not again until ’68/’69, In the late 60′s early 70s the SEC moved to making sure team played about every 7years.

    So, What is the big deal about the rotation on home/away series being roughly a decade long rotation?

    I’d rather keep UGA/Aub, Bama/UT and LSU/UF than play some team out of the west more often. Cross division rivals are the very thing that made the SEC a success and the absence of them helped kill the Big XII.

    • Joe Mayo

      Just because that was the way it was done prior to 1992 doesn’t make it ok. The way we’ve been doing it for the last 20 years has been pretty effective.

      I get wanting to keep the permanent rivals. I want that too. But don’t talk about how it isn’t a big deal that teams not play each other for 10 years just because that’s how it was done in the olden days. Sometimes they are the olden days for a reason.

      • Dawgaholic

        It’s not as hard as some make it seem. One home and one away game against each of the non-rival cross division teams every 14 years – just don’t play any of them in back-to-back years and you play everyone once every 7 years.

      • Otto

        As Dawgaholic said it isn’t as big as it seems.

        The Irony is… a decade long rotation may make games like UF/Bama, UT/ Aub or UGA/LSU that much bigger when they roll around. It may even add to the SECCG if the powers aren’t squaring off in the regular season every few years.

        There isn’t going to be any sleep lost on my end over UGA ( or any other SEC East school) not facing a Mississippi school Tx A&M or Arkansas for a decade. On the flip side Bama, Aub or LSU not facing UK, Vandy or S.C.isn’t a big thing to me. I would gladly take the trade for what we have now.

        UT and Bama haven’t been what they once were but in all honesty the WLOCP has been rather one sided as well. As we all know programs rise and fall. The programs and their fans still have passion for those historic matchups.

  16. Mark

    If they are going to do away with the permanent cross division rival, why not just move Missou to the west and Auburn to the east? Dang, saving the UT Bama rivalry was what supposed to be the reason they didn’t do that to begin with.

  17. Hobnail_Boot

    This is not difficult. Add 2 more teams and go to 4-division, pod scheduling. For example:

    SEC East:
    ** Clemson
    Georgia
    South Carolina
    Vanderbilt

    SEC North:
    Arkansas
    Kentucky
    Missouri
    Tennessee

    SEC West:
    LSU
    Ole Miss
    Miss State
    Texas A&M

    SEC South:
    Alabama
    Auburn
    Florida
    ** Memphis

    Each school plays the other 3 in its division, has 1 permanent from the other 3 divisions, and rotates 2 of the remaining 9 schools. In this case, Georgia would hypothetically play Clemson, SCe, Vandy, UT, Ole Miss, and Florida every year.

    • Joe Mayo

      Memphis?!

      Your post should be deleted for that.

      • Otto

        Agreed, it could be divided in such a way that the big matchups remain. The trick is getting 2 more teams. Clemson has been a leach for Gerogia talent. They don’t bring a new TV market, a national brand, or recruits into the conf.

        Atleast FSU would create more of a monoply in the State of Florida and is a national brand. The other school gets even trickier.

        If College Football does go to a playoff I could see this being done very quickly.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          If FSU is one then VA Tech is a no-brainer to be the other. But, again, the “don’t want 2 teams in the same state” mantra and UF is supposedly against FSU joining the SEC. Same thing with Clemmons plus supposedly USCe is against them joining.

      • Hobnail_Boot

        Or whoever. I just threw 2 names in there for shiggles.

  18. Rebar

    This is a bunch of horse hockey and hooey! The SEC has led the way with our conference championship, and now they are going to make the same mistake as the big12 in stopping traditional rivalries!!! Go to the 9 game schedule and tell all the wussies that don’t want to do it to leave the SEC. Who in the blue blazes said we couldn’t face 8 other SEC teams because “it’s not fair to our players and coaches”? That is exactly what the SEC is about, tough teams that beat the snot out of each other on their way to the top of the mountain!

    • sUGArdaddy

      I am prayerful Slive is bluffing. If he is not, then he has made a colossal miscalculation of what makes sec football work. It does not matter if UGA and a&m are undefeated and 1 & 2 in the nation, there will never be as much passion in the stands or on the field as UGA vs auburn…because I hate auburn. Hate can be a powerful force for good when it is filtered through tv sets across America. People want to watch 2 teams that hate each other play each other…it’s that simple.

      • Joe Mayo

        Agreed. You also should go 10 years where you don’t play a team that is in your conference. That’s just plain stupid. A 9 game conference schedule is necessary. This better be a bluff for TV negotiating.

        • Joe Mayo

          ** shouldn’t

          • Otto

            If you go 9 games, teams like Vandy, and Miss. St will have a harder time making a bowl.

            It does not seem like a big deal at 1st but that is money lost for the entire SEC. Also the Bowl trips are a recruiting tool which keeps the SEC as a whole strong.

            Further as I stated in my post above not playing for a decade creates more hype when the big game rolls around, and could make the SECCG that much bigger. #1 Bama 12-0 playing #2 UGA or UF 12-0 for the 1st time in 5 years in the SECCG. That will sell some Big TV #s.

    • Cojones

      Rebar, my brother.

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