These are the times that try athletic directors’ souls.

Yesterday I mentioned that “… the question you need to be asking yourself is which [conference scheduling format] results in CBS and ESPN writing the biggest checks.  Because I guarantee you that’s the one the McGaritys and Stricklins will be asking”?

Greg McGarity goes there.  Exactly.

“Many SEC fans have a decision whether to come to our game, or sit at home in front of their 60-inch HDTV,” McGarity said. “Would they be more likely to come to a conference game as opposed to a guaranteed (nonconference) game? I’d probably say yes.”

By the way, could somebody please tell Scott Stricklin to STFU?

Stricklin opposes nine SEC games because it could leave Mississippi State ineligible for a bowl. So he wonders about trying to change the NCAA rule requiring round-robin divisional play to stage a conference championship game. That could produce schedules with five of six divisional opponents, one cross-division permanent partner and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. The drawback, Stricklin noted, occurs if the two best teams in a division don’t play each other.

“You have to figure out what’s more important: Do you just worry about playing everybody in your division, or play everybody as often as possible?” Stricklin said. “I don’t know the answer.”

Another idea Stricklin has for all sports with unbalanced schedules: Play some teams based on the previous year’s standings. For instance, football division champions would always play the next year, as would the second-place teams, and so on.

Read the rest of the article.  There’s almost no common ground between the ADs; they’ve all got their own agendas they’re pursuing.  And there are financial and practical considerations on the horizon that little thought has been given to, I suspect, like this:

Nonconference scheduling is an X factor. The SEC soon could have more trouble scheduling high-profile teams out of conference once the ACC switches to nine league games and an annual series between the Pac-12 and Big Ten starts in 2017.

Mike Slive has his work cut out for him.

46 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

46 responses to “These are the times that try athletic directors’ souls.

  1. reipar

    That last sentence gives me an idea. GTU drops UGA when they switch to a 9 game schedule allowing us to switch to 9 games and keep the extra home game every year. That way we are not the bad guys, nor can their delusional fan base say we are scared.

    See problem solved. Everyone wins. Mission accomplished, medals, awards, a parade, next.

    • Remind me again why Georgia would want to drop an opponent that’s 1-10 against Richt.

      • reipar

        Apparently for the extra home game. Plus in theory it could be used (once in a blue moon I am sure) for a meaningful OCC game.

      • Macallanlover

        That is your position every time Senator, and I respect that many feel we should continue to help them out in their search for respect. But when you put it in those terms, what is different between them and another cupcake game? At least we can get the home game money if we would get out of the GT home and home. We gain nothing in beating them, and it is hard to get up for them at that time of the year. Much rather re-arrange the schedule and play them at home only every 4 years like we do GSU. I really wish they would drop us because I think we have too many fans who enjoy the beat-down too much to ever give it up.

        • Russ

          To me, and I suspect many others, beating Tech is one of my top priorities each year. I’d never want to lose the Tech game. It’s how I was raised and I don’t think I’ll be changing my mind on that anytime soon.

          • Keese

            I would throw GT out the freaking window if it meant keeping the AU game. At this point in the series, GT is totally irrelevant and a game planning pain in the ass

        • 81Dog

          GTU may be a cupcake game for us, but it’s a lot more fun beating them like they stole something than it would be to beat most any directional school you can name. The bitter tears of angry, humiliated Tech fans after the annual November beatdown are as much of a Thanksgiving tradition the last 50 years as turkey and dressing. Schadenfreude isnt just for breakfast, you know. Count me among the fans who enjoy the beatdown too much to relinquish it voluntarily.

        • How does beating them more than 90% of the time help them out in their search for respect?

  2. Go Dawgs!

    It’s amazing that any of these idiots in the SEC leadership are still married. After all, as soon as they saw one of their friends get married, they probably took the first woman they saw, ran to the altar, got hitched, and THEN began to discuss their views on politics, religion, whether they wanted kids, their beliefs on how children should be raised, where they want to live, and what they want to do with their lives. That approach works so well for football, you see.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Wait…Do you mean you discussed all those things with the girl of your dreams BEFORE you got married? The First Lady of Dawgtown and I only talked about that stuff as it came up–well after the nuptials. Some of it is still up in the air……..(sigh)

      • I’ve never talked about any of those things and that’s why I’m still married after 29 years.

        • 81Dog

          what Joe said. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the best way to get your wife to listen to you if to figure out what she wants to do, then insist that she do it.

          Of course, that only works about half the time, but half is better than none. And if any of you forward this to my wife, you’re gonna wake up with a horse’s head at the end of your bed tomorrow.

  3. DawgPhan

    It is always amazing to see people with such important jobs be as clueless and thoughtless as all these guys seem to be. If they didnt see all this coming, they should have never entered into the expansion talk.

    Would ole red panties have led us down this road?

  4. sugarfalling

    McGarity is going to have to make a decision. An 8-game conference schedule and maintaining the permanent cross-divisional game is not going to work. There are too many people against taking 12 years to play every team. He needs to fight for the 9-game conference schedule if he wants to keep the Georgia-Auburn game. Trying to do both is like saying I want to live near the ocean in Nebraska.

    • reipar

      Based on his comments I am afraid he has made his decision. We are going to play 8 and lose Auburn….well unless the money is too good.

      • Dawgaholic

        There’s nothing that says the rotating game has to be a home and home where you play the same team two years in a row. It could easily be where you played 3 home and 3 road in six years while playing all 6 teams and then reversing the home and road and playing teams those teams the next 6 years. You’d still play one home and one road game against each team every 12 years.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Considering the campaign by the pro global warming club ….. that may be in the realm of possibility soon.

    • Zina Garrison

      McGarity doesn’t want a 9 game conference schedule. That would mean the elimination of one of his prized creampuff home games.

      • Macallanlover

        Agree, he realizes it devalues the season ticket but he isn’t being made to pay the price….yet. The SEC is in its own cocoon and will squander the strong hand they have inherited. He seems to be giving lip service to wanting to keep the rivalry games, but not committed. Once the genie is out of the bottle, I doubt you get her back in. No way Florida ever agrees to keep LSU if they are let off the hook.

  5. Dawgaholic

    Looks like I was slightly off in my predictions for votes on the annual games.

    From this article we have:
    For permanent rivals:
    UGA
    Bama
    UT
    Auburn
    Vandy
    Missou
    Against permanent rivals:
    MSU
    Ole Miss
    Arkansas
    SC
    Unknown:
    UK
    UF
    LSU
    A&M (likely against)

    It’s tough to believe that with 4 of the 6 traditionally powerful football schools wanting to schedule in a certain way that it would not be honored.

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Screw it, go to 10 SEC games.

  7. stoopnagle

    When the dust settles, I think we’ll see 9 SEC games in a season because that’s what TV is going to want for the league to get the kind of money to justify expansion.

    And, honestly, does anyone think that the league’s pursuit of TV money is going to be held up by Mississippi State?

    • Cojones

      No, but it may be held up by the Coaches. Richt only wants 8 SEC games plus GT. I’ve never swerved at 9 games and have always said it was necessary in order to have Aub and GT. Rotate two other West teams as it is done now. But the coaches have a better feel of what such a schedule will do to the team and what they may have in the tank at the end of each season. I think , when they are brought into the picture, that they may have a sayso through their ADs. And what kind of pressure will they bring? Who knows.

      Maybe Richt wants to put the added pressure in his new contract. Wouldn’t that be a show-stopper?

      • Macallanlover

        I think Richt is for keeping the Tech because the Dooley “old boy” club would fan the flames to get rid of him again. That, and the under 20 group who thinks you have choked if you don’t go unbeaten.

        • Cojones

          I agree and count me out of the “old boy” club even tho I are one. You are right about the crumbsnatchers. Poor little snots didn’t have a social revolution to subscribe to during their salad years so they try to start one in the most obtuse quests ever by a fan-Fire Richt!

          You would think they are trying for a part in Jackass IV or V.

  8. dawgtrain-2012

    Would the extra conference game, force the fla. game to home and home ? Could/would that be an option to save auburn series ? Dropping the flies should not be an option 10-1 ( the 1 was a gift).

    • Would the extra conference game, force the fla. game to home and home ?

      Not as long as the schools are making more money in Jax than in playing home-and-home.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s always about the money. If the city of Jacksonville didn’t bribe UGA and decisions were made on merit instead of $$$$ alone maybe our administration would wise up and move the game to odd years in JAX and even years in the GA Dome. BTW, has anybody ever even approached the City of Atlanta and/or Fulton county about how much those guys would kick in to have that game played in the Dome? You can bet both schools could get more from such an arrangement than from Jacksonville alone. You might even start a bidding war to be the site each year.

  9. I wanna Red Cup

    I want to play the yeller jackets every year in every sport and beat them every year in every sport, and am for anyone against tech in every sport and academic endeavor every time every day every year.
    Lets play 9 conference games. Who is looking forward to the sorry ass home schedule we have this year? It is pathetic.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      How would adding Bama away improve the Dawgs’ next year’s home schedule? For that matter, how would adding Bama in Athens improve the Dawgs’ next year’s home schedule except for 1 game? Put a sock in it already.

  10. Cojones

    I missed the logic of the MSU A.D.. He won’t get to qualify for a bowl game? Instead of facing the increased competition, he is opting for an easy schedule so the team won’t have to lose too many in the SEC? What message does that send to the team and coaches?

    The mute 5W+2E= 7dummyups.Too powerful to get in the fray? What the hell have they all been discussing? At least McGarity can speak. There has to be something undercurrent going on that we aren’t going to be made privy to and we get treated to the Worrient Express Mystery of the month…and summer.

    Don’t tell me the A.D.s have become the Add-Two-and-Become-Obtuse (Adboc) Committee. Maybe that’s better than the Athletic Directors-have-openly-capitulated Committee

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