A conference, but only when it’s convenient for him.

There’s no question Steve Spurrier’s always had one of the more creative minds in the football business.  Recently, he’s turned all that intellectual firepower towards the issue of SEC scheduling.  His solution to the problem has essentially been to devalue certain conference games.  A couple of years ago, he proposed not counting the cross-division games in determining division winners.  Now, it’s about not counting rivalry games at all.

… The SEC wants to protect traditional rivalry games Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn. Fine, Spurrier says. Let them play—the games just won’t count as a conference game.

“Nick Saban wants nine games, well he can have nine and be happy,” Spurrier said. “Yep, nine games against conference opponents—but one of them won’t count, that’s all.”

That’s all.

I’m sure a lot of thought went into that.  But I can’t help but wonder – wouldn’t it just have been easier to have come up with a better game plan against Auburn in 2011?

By the way, that isn’t to knock one legitimate gripe Spurrier has about SEC scheduling.

Moreover, in the last two “bridge” schedules in 2012-2013 – schedules made without specific opposite division rotating concepts – have given the Tide rotating games against East Division second-tier Missouri and Kentucky.

“You tell me why that happened,” Spurrier. “I still haven’t gotten an answer.”

I’d like to know, too.  A more judicious approach there would have lessened the complaining from Miles and others about the permanent cross-division games.  Not that we’re ever likely to hear an explanation…


Filed under The Evil Genius

29 responses to “A conference, but only when it’s convenient for him.

  1. JasonC

    I kinda understand the point about Bama’s schedules, but at this point I’m ready to rebirth the WAC (Whiny-Ass Conference) with charter members, Les Miles, Spurrier and Bob Stoops.


  2. Timphd

    As for his complaint about Bama’s schedule, how loudly would he have whined had his Cocks been assigned as their cross division game those two years. We’d never hear the end of how unfair that was that Georgia got Ole Miss and he got Bama. Note that he isn’t complaining about how “unfair” the schedule is this year since he has one of the easiest, avoiding both Bama and LSU. Stop whining Steve.


  3. Dr. Tim,
    Good point, SC, UGA and UF haven’t had to play Alabama either. Also, there were a lot of comments about Alabama “whining” a couple of years ago when they mentioned that all of their major conference rivals had an open date the week before they played Alabama. Suck it up! It will all come around eventually.


  4. cube

    I usually like what Spurrier has to say but he’s a total hypocrit on this issue. He cries and cries about wanting the schedules to be “more fair” but when it’s time to put his money where his mouth is, he votes against adding another conference game to help even the schedules out.

    Ditto for Les Miles.


  5. GaskillDawg

    Spurrier is a whiney-ass but his suggestion has happened before. I recall in the 1970s Alabama played someone (my memory is Ole Miss in a game that did not count in conference standings. Alabama and that team player one more conference opponent than everyone else but they counted just the other games in the standings. My memory also is that it happened more than once. Hate to see that happen again.


    • The 984

      In Colorado’s first year in the Pac-12, they played a “nonconference” game against California. However, they had already played one of the games of that OOC series at Cal. So that was a rather unique situation brought about by realignment.


    • Bryant Denny

      You are correct, but I don’t remember the details.


  6. TomReagan

    Maybe they like the whining about Alabama’s easy games.


  7. Macallanlover

    A once proud, respected warrior has been reduced to a whiney, drooling, old squaw. I remember when you were a man, old queen, the good times we shared, golf we played, toasts to accomplishments achieved; now I raise my finely aged scotch to your prescribed prune juice. Farewell, your good days are behind you. Rest that mouth, you are embarrassing yourself and badly tainting your legacy with this cowardly babbling.


    • Now..now.. Mac. Forgive him, he knows not what he does. (presently)


      • Macallanlover

        He is ageing poorly. I was one of the few YGA fans who respected, and got along well with, him. Defended hin to friends, no more. It is like he hit his head when he arrived in Columbia and lost those characteristics that made him special. Nothing unique about whiners, not in this country anymore.


  8. Go Dawgs!

    Having just looked at South Carolina’s anemic western division schedule and their anemic overall schedule, I would think Coach Spurrier would drop the schedule talk. After all, how fair is it that Georgia has to play LSU this year and he gets to pick on a first-year coach at Arkansas?


  9. Boz

    Finally, I’m on Spurrier’s wave length. I’ve been petitioning for a rules change in golf for years: WTF is up with 18 holes anyway? I only want to count 15. Sure, lets play 18, but only the best 15 count. Getting my handicap down to scratch is damn near impossible when I have to count all of them, but with my amendment, I think I can do it.


    • uglydawg

      What if all you had was conferernce games. What if you played your eight SEC teams on your schedule, and then scheduled the three weak sisters from the opposite side of the conference as extra games. Would you want to count them in the standings? A smart scheduler could really up the in-con winning% that way.


  10. mdcgtp

    forgive me in advance for going on a LONG LONG rant here…..

    the fact that 13 of 14 programs were so unwilling to take on one additional SEC game and part with 0.5 home games per year is really embarrassing. For me, the whole thing is a microcosm of the piece meal approach that has been taken to stewarding college football into the next era. Spurrier’s comments reflect cowardice and lack of thought. they are neither “creative” nor insightful. they are simply self serving and reflect the poor leadership of the sport.

    I get that many of you, including the sponsor of this fine forum, are less than enamored with the prospect of a playoff. For me, the bigger issue is simply the lack of any sensible process to address major issues. While the on the field product is still generally great thanks to a seemingly never ending supply and exciting new talent every year, I can’t think of a single issue that has been handled correctly.

    In case any one is keeping score

    1)NCAA enforcement – from Auburn to Miami to now Miss state and now ole Miss to the odd way of penalizing Penn State (not that I disagreed with the fact that the program needed to be penalized and Paterno needed to be held accountable post humously)

    2)paying players legally….the issue has never been solved

    3)conference realignment was done with no clear vision or logic other than annexing TV markets…except where the big 12 was involved who added the hirely desirable WV market.

    4)discussion around scheduling and number of conference games and conferences coming to an equitable solution. I would argue that if the conferences were really thoughtful and wanted to “level” the field, they might suggest that the 10th game that is non-conference for all be left open until the previous season finishes and it is used to “balance out” a teams schedule. for example, say Michigan or Ohio state miss the tougher teams in the conference, force them to go on the road to Texas or Oregon or stanford such that the OVERALL load of teams within and between conferences are as close to similar as can be estimated.

    5)recruiting has become a joke in so many ways that are distasteful. between hat dances, decommitments, and pressures put on the players. come up with a better solution (maybe ban the binding NLI like some have suggested but come up with an offset that says a player has to decide by a certain date).

    6)the building of essentially NFL front offices like Saban has done either needs to be “regulated”, “outlawed”, or COMPLETELY de-regulated. Pick one of the three approaches and go with it, but the notion of allowing programs to effectively thumb their nose at rules of what support staff can and can not do is intellectually dishonest. On the other hand, I would argue that the money Bama spends to “support” its coaches and players seems paltry relative to the overall budget, and the fact that our AD has been intransigent in his willingness to invest in similar resources for our coaching staff is nothing short of galling to me. that said, the NCAA and the schools should come to a conclusion about how it is addressed

    things like that require vision, discussion, and subrogation of self interest, which are all things these presidents and ADs are terrible at. the sad thing is they miss the obvious point that if they actually focused on putting a BETTER product


  11. Putting aside all previous comments….Steve is scathingly brilliant in many ways.


  12. Bulldog Joe

    The SEC is in Birmingham. They take care of the home teams first. This is not new news.


  13. Watchman

    The only practical way to have made Bama’s schedule harder this year would have put Spurrier’s whiny bunch on there in place of Kentucky. Is that what he wants? Somehow I doubt it.


  14. uglydawg

    A little off the conversation here, but the idea that the West is a lot stronger than the East is no longer valid IMHO. You’ve got Alabama and a drop off to LSU, arguably Ole Miss and Ta&m….then AR, AU, and State rounding off the bottom. In the East, UGA, and USC and either FU or Vandy in the top half, with Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky on the bottom. (I really don’t know where Missouri belongs). I wonder how long it will take the experts on television to pick up on this and drop the false idea of the “Stonger Weest”.


  15. uglydawg

    That should be “Stonger West”. After the reply box fills up, it starts to jump around and I cannot see what I am typing. Sorry.


  16. Bryant Denny

    Senator – a question for you…

    As GaskillDawg pointed out above, in the 1970s and the early part of the 1980s, Alabama technically played an extra conference game, but was able to designate on of the games as not counting in the standings. I’m not sure how this worked, but something like this happened.

    A perusal through the history book shows that Alabama sometimes played eight conference games in the 1960s and then sometimes seven and sometimes six in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Do you know if all teams did this? Or perhaps there were eight conference games required at some point?

    It appears as if the conference (albeit somewhat dominated by Bryant) was somewhat flexible related to scheduling. Just wondering what you or others may remember of this.


  17. stoopnagle

    So, there’s no way on God’s green earth 10 teams can have 2 rotating non-divisional opponents and 4 teams only have one?

    We can’t have cake and eat too? No?