It’s a SEC conspiracy!

It seems my post on this season’s SEC East schedules has set a few teeth on edge (or, more appropriately, ruffled some feathers) at the fine South Carolina blog Garnet and Black Attack.

… But the 2012 schedule, however, was the creation of the league officials to suit their purposes in breaking Mizzou and Texas A&M into the league. In light of how well Georgia did in 2011 – and was projected to do in 2012 – the SEC should have kept Georgia-Alabama; it certainly would have been the marquee East-West cross-division game of the season, and would have balanced out the newly-created LSU-South Carolina game. Between the Dawgs and the Tide, however, somebody got a pass from the boys in Birmingham – arguably both, since the defending NC Tide shouldn’t have received any breaks either. In fact, the front office guys could not have failed to notice that UGA will have only played one of the Alabama-Arkansas-LSU trifecta just three times from ’09 to ’12 [LSU and Arkie in 2009 and Arkie in 2010]. In the same period [2009-2012], however, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee have each turned the trick 6 times and Vandy 5; only lowly UK (3) has been sheltered as much as UGA – and never two years straight…

Three quick things in response to that.  First, as a Georgia fan looking at the weakest home schedule in years, I would have loved for the Dawgs to have taken on Alabama in Athens than Ole Miss.  But – this leads to my second point – had that happened, Georgia would have gotten screwed on the scheduling front by forfeiting the second leg of its home-and-home with the Rebel Black Bears.  For better or worse, that was a game Georgia expected to play.

Third, and most importantly, when did SEC cross-division scheduling become all about Alabama, Arkansas and LSU?  Historically speaking, Georgia’s permanent West opponent has been more formidable than South Carolina’s.  Shouldn’t that matter?  I’d say yes, although it does come in handy stoking the indignation when you can point to three East schools playing last year’s trinity in the West more often than Georgia has in the past three seasons because each of the three had one of Alabama, Arkansas or LSU as its permanent division opponent.  (Besides, what’s with the ’09 cutoff, anyway?  You don’t think it’s a convenient way of dodging the fact that Georgia played both Alabama and LSU in 2008, do you?  Naaaaah.)

Look, it’s nature of the beast and all that.  There’s always going to be an ebb and flow when you don’t play every conference team in a season.  The problem in 2012 isn’t that the fix was in at the SEC office.  It’s that the SEC office fixed the conference schedule at eight games.  There are only two cross-divisional games this season and if you’re one of the East teams which has one of the current big three in the West as a permanent opponent, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.  And it’s a disadvantage that will continue if the conference sticks with an eight-game schedule (assuming that nothing changes in the character of the Western programs, of course).

If you think that’s unfair, the solution isn’t to rejigger the schedule every season in hopes of getting matchups which reflect teams’ strength from the season before, à la the NFL.  It’s to be pushing for a nine-game conference schedule, so that the odds of your divisional rivals playing the better teams in the other division improve.


Filed under SEC Football

80 responses to “It’s a SEC conspiracy!

  1. Gravidy

    “the SEC should have kept Georgia-Alabama; it certainly would have been the marquee East-West cross-division game of the season, and would have balanced out the newly-created LSU-South Carolina game”

    What a load of navel-gazing manure that is. If having the “marquee East-West cross-division game of the season” is such an honor to be revered, nurtured, and protected, you’d think any self-respecting SC fan would be proud (PROUD, I tell you!) to let that honor fall to the LSU-SC game. Hmmmmm…guess not.

    • Tryptic67

      You use the phrase “navel gazing manure” but I’m unsure you know what it means. True – LSU-USC is now the best cross-division game of 2012. if you think CBS wouldn’t rather show Bama-Georgia, then you’re not living in the real world. The point was that Tide-Dawgs was going to be a great game that was cancelled for no apparent reason.

      • 81Dog

        I would think the reason that you cant play 9 games in 8 weekends would be pretty apparent, even to a South Carolina fan, but I guess math isnt your strong suite. DId we lose you at 8 games scheduled, add a division game, which means 9? Or was it at “9 games in conference, when we only have room on the schedule for 8, so something has to go”? It’s as obvious as the scowl on Spurrier’s bit-into-a-lemon puckered face.

  2. DCB Dawg

    Nine games or bust, Senator. Anything less is capitulation to fear.

  3. JasonC

    Good point about Auburn. Usually a better team than Arkansas and you could probably make an argument they have been better then Bama in the past 10 years.

    I mostly try to ignore Gamecock fans now as they are about as delusional as Bama fans, but don’t have any of the National or SEC titles to at least provide a somewhat reasonable defense.

    • ScooBoo

      USCjr has at least as many pre-season National titles as Bama.

    • WF dawg

      Auburn is almost always a better team than Arkanasas, and I’ve not whined to USC fans about playing Auburn every year nor about USC’s comparatively softer schedule all those years that they were a 6-loss team. These are simply the grumblings of the nouveaux-competitive Gamecocks.

      • Dawgaholic

        They conveniently leave out a team that won a MNC and SEC from 09-12. What has Arky done anyway, barely beat us without AJ and beat South Carolina. If Arky had played us in October or November they would have lost one more last year too.

        • Tryptic67

          Looking back on 2011, UGA didn’t play particularly well against Vandy, Florida or Kentucky. What makes you think that you’d have done better against Arkansas? The Auburn game? The same effort against the ‘Dores, Gators or ‘Cats, and Arkansas would have won handily.

          • 81Dog

            Looking back on 2011, S Carolina couldnt beat that same crappy Auburn team that UGA beat like a Salvation Army drum. You can play the “what if” game from now until the chickens come home to roost, but if S Carolina had managed to beat AU without playing particularly well, it would have won the East (instead of just claiming it did with Spurrier’s snit fit induced new math, where you only have to count the games that make S Carolina win).

            Go jump in a pan full of boiling Wesson Oil.

  4. Mayor of Dawgtown

    A 9 game conference schedule alone isn’t the answer. You would still have mismatches in the schedule on an annual basis. The answer is to kick South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Missouri back out of the SEC and play a 9 game conference schedule. That would mean that every team plays every other team each year which is the only way to determine a true conference champion.

  5. charlottedawg

    Again, the fact that so many gamecock fans embrace this meme is very illustrative of their non-belief in their team and its abilities or lack therof. They’re basically saying that USC can only win the SEC if the rules are amended in USC’s favor, ’cause notice how none of them want to institute these changes starting in 2013 or 14 when we would get a tough west rotation, just 2011 & 2012. We don’t whine about playing Aub, UF doesn’t whine about playing LSU, Tennessee doesn’t bitch about playing Bama, but somehow it’s not fair that USC plays arkansas. You know cuz arkansas has won the SEC 0 times and the other 3 teams have won multiple SEC & Nat’l titles. I used to get mad at this meme now I just realize it’s USC broadcasting to the conference how small time they know they have been, are, and will be.

    • Castleberry

      + 1 – I kept thinking – exactly what has Arkansas won?? If you’re going to whine about SEC scheduling based on recent strength of your permanent opponent you better be wearing some ugly shade of orange.

    • Siskey

      Great point!

    • Governor Milledge

      They see their window of opportunity closing fast. Remember, THIS era is the high-water mark of South Carolina football history

      Augusta National is calling the OBC full-time, and he’ll be there within 5 years; the next coach, no matter how logical he may be (Skip Holtz?) will not carry Steve’s water or his recent record in Williams-Brice

    • Tryptic67

      You’re missing the point. Bama, LSU and Arkansas are currently the three best teams in the west. So saith the Senator. In 2012, the Dawgs were supposed to play Bama,. The SEC took that game away – poof! In 2012, the Gamecocks were not supposed to play LSU. The SEC put that on the schedule – pow! For two years straight, the Dawgs will have avoided one of those tougher Western teams, even though had things run their normal course they would not have. No one is kvetching about the past so much as y’all got an undeserved break in 2012. Is that so difficult to understand? Really?

      • 81Dog

        it’s not “an undeserved break.” It’s “the schedule.” DId S Carolina fans suggest that UGA get a pass in 04 or 10 when Auburn was undefeated? Hitch up your skirt and play the entire schedule, not just whine about only counting the games where you played well enough to win.

        • Tryptic67

          Was 2010 so long ago that you’ve already forgotten that USC played Auburn twice that year? Pssst … we both lost. From 1992-2011, the schedule was pretty much “set”. In 2012, the schedule was manipulated. If you can’t concede that UGA caught a break in avoiding Bama in ’12, while your primary challenger for the East division in ’12 got a turd in picking up LSU, then you’re so partisan that it’s not worth debating the point with you anymore.

          • 81Dog

            all you had to do was beat a lousy Auburn team, in Columbia, with Lattimore, in 2011 for the Chikins to win the East. You didnt. UGA didnt get any kind of a “break,” unless you consider the unexpected need to shoehorn an extra division game into the 8 game conference schedule, resulting in the need for everyone to dump one cross division game in 2012 “a break.” Everyone doesnt play the same schedule every year as their inter-division opponents, or the same schedule from year to year. It’s a moving target. It’s the way things have gone since S Carolina and Arkansas were thrown a life preserver by the SEC in 1991. Quit whining about it. Play the games. If you win, you win. If you dont, nobody wants to hear how you allegedly got jobbed by the schedule makers.

      • No one is kvetching about the past so much as y’all got an undeserved break in 2012.

        If your coach wasn’t pushing a silly divisional champ rule change (which your fan base supports, by the way), you might have a stronger case here. As it is, you guys do come off sounding whiny about the schedule.

        • Tryptic67

          You know how Spurrier is. And you know how we are. If he decided put a hammer and sickle on the USC helmet, the fan base would support it. That doesn’t mean it’s a meritless idea, since it would be (a) implemented in the future and (b) apply to everyone equally. Not that it stands a snow-balls chance in hades. But that’s beside the point entirely.

          • That doesn’t mean it’s a meritless idea…

            Oh, of course it is, just like most ideas born from sour grapes are. It essentially divides the SEC into two conferences which happen to play a championship game against each other. If games from the other division are meaningless in determining a division winner, why not drop ’em and play two more games against Sun Belt teams?

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Senator, I mentioned the following in a post a couple of weeks ago. Let me be more specific this time. Question: If having games played by SEC East teams against members of the SEC West do not count in determining the winner of the SEC East (and vice-versa) and the two sides effectively become “two conferences” as you suggest, can the SEC then continue to take the position that it is one conference and continue to have an SEC Championship Game under the NCAA Rules that allow for such? Wouldn’t the SEC then actually be “two conferences” as you suggest and then be like the old PAC 10 and Big 10, two conferences having an agreement for their champions to play in a post-season bowl? If that is the case wouldn’t the continuing existence of the SEC Championship Game be at risk because, per NCAA Rules, such an championship game can only exist for teams within one conference?

              • No way to know the answer to that, really, Mayor, but I suspect that if the SEC continued to consider itself a conference, the NCAA would too.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  OK, so the spineless NCAA ignores its own rules and continues to allow the SEC to play the SECCG even though it is now 2 de facto conferences in our hypothetical. Can another conference or school then sue the NCAA to make it enforce that rule? Does such a conference/school have standing? Do fans who oppose the move have standing? How about a rival TV network that wants to block the game being shown?

  6. Uglydawg

    It’s a worn out cliche, but “consider the source”.

  7. Spike

    All they had to do last season was beat Auburn. At home. They blew it. Why don’t they go back to being independent or join the ACC again?

  8. edawg

    What a joke of a fanbase.

  9. Comin' Down The Track

    Waaaah! Waaaah! Somebody call the waaaambulance!

  10. Cojones

    Several of us on here push for a 9-game schedule. The Senator’s suggestion gets the kewpie for fanbase putdown of the week. Push for a 9-game schedule to even up your East competitor’s schedule. Simple.

    Don’t use epithets to put down the cockbreath aholes. It isn’t becoming to our gentle and diplomatic reputation. Just stick the “pussy!” sign in their face like Bluto did. Did we catch some rant in there? Nice.

    • Tryptic67

      You’re welcome to see if the Pussy sign works on October 6, brah! In fact, we can trade e-mails and then meet up at the stadium. I’ll walk you around, buy you a beer and introduce you to some of the guys. Deal?

      • Cojones

        You bet! By the way, make that very cold beer. If I continue on the same arthritis path, by then someone will need to push the chair through the crowd. I’ll give out tailfeathers I’ve collected from kicking my wife’s game chickens in the ass. You will have to warn everyone not to pick their nose with them because they may have Salmonella (small female salmon to you guys). Could I meet some old farts? They don’t whine as much when talking SEC East football as you 36 to 37-yr olds.

  11. stoopnagle

    Once again, all that’s left to do is point toward Columbia and laugh.

    Auburn! Ha!

  12. Dave

    Spot on as usual. Cheers,

  13. Hogbody Spradlin

    A month or so ago when the schedules were announced the SC fanbase thought their athletic director, Eric Hyman, got rolled by the good ole boys at the SEC meeting, and they were all whining that Bama and Georgia mutually rigged things to get easy schedules. Hyman got himself out of the dog house with the basketball coach hire, but OUR schedule is still one of the biggest concerns for South Carolina football.

    • KornDawg

      Cock fans care more about UGA and Clemson than they do about their own team.

    • Comin' Down The Track

      … they were all whining that Bama and Georgia mutually rigged things to get easy schedules.

      You know what? So, what if they did? Two of the original founding members with 34 conference titles between them vs. being in the conference 21 years and ZERO conference titles (compare that to Tech who won 5 titles in just 11 more years as a member according to Wikipedia). That gets you a little something extra at the big table.

    • Tryptic67

      I was responding to the Senator, Hogbody. If it was enough of a concern for him to write about it, I’m not supposed to respond? Hmmm …?

  14. Bulldog Joe

    Auburn gets Vanderbilt instead of Florida.
    Alabama gets Missouri instead of Georgia.

    Gamecock fans have yet to realize the SEC, based in Alabama, will always take care of their home state teams first, just like the ACC does in North Carolina.

    If they don’t like it, they can join the Southern Conference. It is based in South Carolina.

    • cube

      Actually, Alabama gets Missouri instead of Vanderbilt. They were originally scheduled to play at Vanderbilt and home against us. Now they are playing at Missouri and home against Texas A&M.

      Weighing things out, I’d say their schedule got a little easier overall but not a lot. Not sure the conspiracy theory fits.

  15. Slaw Dawg

    Doesn’t show much confidence in their own team, does it?

    And, yes, 9 SEC games a year and a 1 cupcake limit.

  16. TrinityEer

    It is amazing that they point out UGA is missing the “Big 3” while ignoring Auburn’s national title just…2 years ago. Whatever Arkansas is, it isn’t LSU, Bama or even Auburn.

    • Tryptic67

      Yawn. Played ’em too. Fail argument. Was responding to the Senator’s orginal post which didn’t talk about Auburn either. What’s amazing is that you think what I wrote is amazing in the context of what I wrote. Nice try, though.

  17. Scott W.

    Here’s to hoping they are still worried about UGA’s schedule at the end of the year because they couldn’t handle their own.

    • I’ll be happy if it’s a distraction going into Nashville for their opener. If the ‘Cocks get upset by Vandy, Georgia’s Western schedule will be the least of their worries.

      • Scott W.

        I too would like to see this.

        • WF dawg

          Other than having to hear from the insufferable James Franklin, I would, too. Conversely, the visor throws from OBC might just offset that.

  18. Nate Dawg

    But we have played LSU Atlanta last Dec. which they could have done, but didn’t, cuz they choked against our permanent rival, awbarn. Ooh the irony is fun to swim around in!

  19. skiingdawg

    Undefeated UGA vs undefeated Alabama for the SECC. Winner plays LSU, who lost to Alabama, for the NC. B10, B12, ACC, P12 all cry louder than last year. And you thought the scheduling boys in BHam didn’t know what they’re doing!!! he he

  20. Rebar

    Someone needs to tell Carolina to act like they’ve been there before and stop with all the damn whining. There is no whining in the SEC!

  21. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s the biggest injustice in the entire 2 year history of Gamecock football!

  22. BulldogBen

    Ahh USC, where even when you win…….you lose.

  23. Tryptic67

    Now that most of the Peanut-state gallery has had their opportunity to sneer, jeer and manifest (once again) your great contempt for Carolina football, I hope I will be permitted a chance to respond:

    1. Please, for the love of all that is holy drop the talking point that UGA absolutely *had* to keep the back-end of the home-and-home with Ole Miss. South Carolina lost the back-end of a home-and-home with Miss State. Why should the Red and Black get to “complete” their Magnolia State match-up, but the Garnet and Black cannot? Seriously – there isn’t one. With all due respect to those who sing paeans to Ole Miss-Georgia, it’s a relatively new (post WW2) “rivalry” that really hasn’t had any punch in years (going on decades).

    2. I agree that “the solution isn’t to rejigger the schedule every season in hopes of getting matchups which reflect teams’ strength from the season before, à la the NFL” – yet 2012 was a rejigger year, but rather than keep UGA-Bama *as scheduled,* they decided to drop it – while simultaneously adding the heretofore un-scheduled LSU-South Carolina. That is not the “normal ebb and flow.” Since Birmingham decided to monkey with the 2012 schedule, the 2012 schedule needed to reflect some attempt at parity. Keeping Tide-Dawgs would have achieved that. Dropping it was a gift to both that neither club deserved.

    3. Auburn won the NC with Cam, but it was an anomaly. The Chiz isn’t likely to duplicate the effort anytime soon. Everyone knows that – he’s lost his brain and his prized RB. So while UGA’s past titls with War Eagle may have been the cats meow, they really are not the same level of competition in comparison with Alabama, LSU or Arkansas in the near future – and certainly not in 2012 (which was the whole point). We just finished our home-and-home with Auburn anyway, so that argument (i.e., playing the Barners in 2012 is every bit as difficult as playing what the Senator called the ‘trifecta’ is a fail).

    4. The Senator is right – the Cocks could easily stumble in Nashville and then it would be “all she wrote” for any realistic chance for a December 1 date at the Georgia dome. Then, of course, y’all could fall at Mizzou. As Gamecocks we’re all too familiar with how the Dawgs love to pencil in W’s next to “lesser” teams. Of course it doesn’t always play out on the field like that.

    • Some points in response to your response😉 –

      I’m not arguing that Georgia had to keep the home-and-home with Ole Miss. Again, selfishly speaking, I’d rather have Alabama in Athens than the BBRs. But, if I’m not mistaken, the prior schedule had the game being played in Tuscaloosa; so in addition to dropping a game on the schedule (Ole Miss), the SEC would have had to move the another game’s site. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, but there were already a lot of scheduling balls up in the air. In any event, the SEC would not have been keeping the Georgia-Alabama game “as scheduled”.

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but my argument about conveniently ignoring Auburn had a lot more to do with just one season. It’s been a better program than Arkansas has been over time. I don’t see how anyone who isn’t biased can argue differently.

      You seem to place an awful lot of faith in Arkansas’ excellence in the near future, as you put it. This is kind of a subset of what I refer to as preseason homerism. Auburn’s in decline because it’s down a gifted offensive mind and a great running back. Yet you expect Arky to soldier on without missing a beat despite losing the best playcaller and receiving corps in the SEC. Works for me!

      • 81Dog

        if Auburn 2010 was an anomaly, what does that make S Carolina 2010? A mediocre anomaly? I love how chickens dont let the facts get in the way of a good Gamecock narrative.

        • Tryptic67

          In 2010? We were just a mediocre anomaly that managed to beat y’all after CMR circled the game on the calendar. Sucked to be us, I guess, in 2010.

          • 81Dog

            actually, it sucks to be you EVERY year. I was unaware UGA was “circling the game” on the calendar any more than any other conference game in 2010. That’s the kind of thing only wanna-bes like S Carolina do. We get your best shot every year after you spend all summer obsessing about our game. Let’s see how you handle it this year when the game date is a lot closer to your annual swoonfest in October and November.

      • Tryptic67

        You’re minimizing my point – not to mention your original point – which is simply that Georgia is skipping the ‘trifecta’ in the 2012. My arguments are not based on what 2013 will hold, or what 1892-2009 held. Simply, that the league bestowed a scheduling advantage on Georgia in 2012 while simultaneously ratcheting up South Carolina’s schedule, which Georgia didn’t really deserve if you look from 2009 to the present.

        And, I should hasten to point out, you original post didn’t mention Auburn either. You’re backfilling a bit, by saying “well, in the long run we’ve had it tougher because of Auburn” in reply to a debate over whether UGA (or someone else – Vandy) has gotten more of a break in the short-run.

        But for the sake of clarification, I will agree that since 1992 (the year the Hogs began SEC football and were first paired with the Cocks) Auburn on the whole has been tougher than Arkansas

        Insofar as Arkansas is concerned in the immediate future, losing Bobby Petrino (who I intensely dislike personally but respect as a coach) is a big deal, but with two potential first rounders in Tyle Wilson and Knile Davis, they’re still likely to be no worse than the third team in the West in 2012, and better than Auburn – again in 2012. Don’t forget that Hog O.C. Paul Petrino is still on the staff. John L. will probably not be interfering much there. I don’t know what 2013 will hold for the Razorbacks; and don’t much care since we’ve been re-assigned to TAMU (which I didn;t like very much but no one asked my opinion).

        • Tryptic67

          Tyler* Wilson *sigh* I will hasten to add, by way of additional clarification, that I recognize Auburn is an ancient rival, which ratchets up the overall competition level by another factor when comparing the strength of UGA-AU to USC-Ark. The Cocks and Hogs really don’t care much about each other; and never really will.

        • Well, my original post wasn’t anything other than a look at the schedules – with a tease about whether Spurdog would be complaining about them. You’re the one who took it to the next level, regarding fairness (that’s not a complaint; it’s a good topic for debate, IMO).

          But I think you’re trying to have it both ways here when you say on the one hand, it’s just about this season, and then on the other when you arbitrarily look at 2009 to the present to make your judgment call.

    • Cojones

      Tryptic, really enjoyed the 8:06 post Made my day to laugh all the way through. You have a lot of funny sarcasm that’s unappreciated by posting that stinging, complaining whine in a snarky manner. It was wonderful with the self-deprecating humor. What?….it was serious? Sorrrrryyyy.

      Took you up on your invitation. See above.

  24. bulldogbry

    just posting to unfollow the comments. carry on.

  25. Tim

    Everyone seems to be missing the point of the complaint and I can’t tell if it is intentional or people are really just too stupid to notice. It is not the rotation or bad luck that created an imbalanced cross-division schedule, but a conscious decision by SEC officials to eliminate the SC-Miss State game in favor of SC-LSU while eliminating the UGA-Bama Game in favor of UGA-Ole Miss. The argument about finishing the home-and-home series doesn’t really hold water since SC was unable to finish theirs with Miss State.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think SC fans should man up and stop complaining as we will have to beat LSU or Bama or Arkansas to win the SECCG anyway. However, the premise of the complaint is at the very least reasonable. UGA’s schedule was made easier while SC’s was made harder due to a decision by the front office that didn’t appear to be based on any sound reasoning or rules. Maybe they did have some criteria and either have chosen not to share it or I (and pretty much eveyone else) have been reading the wrong articles, but why would either of those be the case? If they explained how they made the decision or even just said they flipped a coin, it would immediately dispel most rumors.

  26. zeke9353

    The whole article is crap (have to play the Rebel Black Bears, lmao)… Untile the last paragraph.