I’ll be the first to admit that at times it’s easy to mock Tony Barnhart’s reporting. But that doesn’t mean he’s useless. I take this news at face value.
In the short term it looks like the eight-game schedule will stay in place. CBSSports.com has been told that the scheduling formats for 2014 and 2015 will be presented in Destin and both seasons call for an eight-game model.
You can read the rest of Barnhart’s piece for the pros and cons of moving to a nine-game conference slate, none of which is particularly groundbreaking at this point (okay, there’s a reason we call him Mr. Conventional Wisdom around these parts). But what that news tells me is Slive hasn’t managed to squeeze as much money out of his broadcast partners in the wake of conference expansion as he hoped. Scheduling thus stays in a holding pattern until the SEC can figure out the best way to play its hole card, assuming it wants to, that is.
Purely as an aside here – do you think Tony got his scoop from the SEC or from his employer? ESPN ain’t the only one that gets to play both sides of the street, you know.
Anyway, expect to hear more bitching about the schedule coming out of Destin later this month. There may be some interesting tea leaf reading to do, depending on who’s complaining and what the complaints are about. Stay tuned.