Eight is great.

The SEC’s head coaches had a little get together yesterday and, not surprisingly, the topic of conference scheduling came up.  Nick Saban is gloomy about the prospects for a nine-game SEC schedule.

Talk of a nine-game schedule and preservation of traditional cross-divisional rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee were discussed by SEC coaches in a meeting Tuesday.

“I don’t think there’s any support for that, it doesn’t seem like” Alabama coach Nick Saban said before a Crimson Caravan stop in Huntsville. “I think there’s a little bit more support for staying with an eight-game schedule and everybody playing a ninth opponent that’s in the five major conferences.

“My thing is I’m for playing nine conference games and still playing another team in the major conferences, so you play 10 games because of fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games.

“So that’s the starting point for me. I think it’s important for the players to be able to play more teams in the SEC East, on the other side, which we only get to play one now. I don’t know if we stay with the 6-1-1 or 6-0-2. I don’t know.”

Everyone seems to agree that Saban’s not a stupid guy, so why ignore his point about “fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games”?  Well, because short-term selfish interest always trumps long-term planning in what passes for today’s management of college football.

Besides, we’ve got the dynamic duo looking out for our interests.

But as Richt pointed out, the vote ultimately comes down to the school presidents, and not the coaches. Of course the coaches could lobby their presidents, or at least their athletics directors.

“It may be I talk to Greg (McGarity, Georgia’s A.D.), and Greg talks to him [UGA President Jere Morehead], sometimes we all talk together,” Richt said.

I feel better already.


Filed under SEC Football

39 responses to “Eight is great.

  1. Bulldog Joe

    Saban’s talk is rich.

    Does anyone doubt UA’s president will vote the way Saban tells her to vote?

    • Bob

      SEC announces decision. Conference stays at 8 games and continues traditional rivalries. Conference decrees that every team must play at least one major conference out of conference game each year starting in 2016.

      Wimp out. Glad that we continue the rivalry. Means nothing for scheduling. Should have said play at least 2 major conference OOC games, still leaving 2 cream puffs if a school wants that. For some schools like Georgia which has often played 2 such OOC games, there is nothing about this that strengthens future schedules unless we decide to do it anyway.

      One positive…hopefully we will carry through with the ND home and home now.

  2. Athens Dog

    Morehead is Adams part two. No changes in Athens. Tone deaf as usual.

  3. Athens Dog

    Oh and still quite arrogant about it.

  4. Mark

    Anyone think that one reason Saban wants a 9th game is recruiting in Georgia? With the out of conference game he can play in Atlanta every other year or so and playing UGA, then he can guarantee a kid a game in Georgia at least once or twice in his college career. IMO, it gives him even more exposure to recruiting than he already has.

    • Beer Money

      It’s probably a part of it. But he also knows the SEC is probably never going to give Bama a murderer’s row schedule so it is a safe bet. For example, let’s say that Bama’s draw from the East was @Tennessee and vs. Georgia, plus it happened to be a year when they go to Baton Rouge. As evidenced the last few years, there will always be an off week/FCS/SEC also ran the week before and probably after any of these games.

      Still, as a season ticket holder, I agree completely with Saban. 9 SEC games (with permanent cross division rivals) plus a BCS conference team (which can stay as Tech for us) sounds like a good schedule most years.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        You’re forgetting about the WLOCP, BM. That game is played in Jax every year. I guarantee there will be years that UGA will play only 3 SEC home games, 5 SEC away games and the one SEC game in Jax (3+5+1=9). How do you like Georgia’s chances to win the SEC in those years? The SEC office has demonstrated that it will throw us to the wolves whenever necessary to make the rest of the SEC schedule work. Remember playing Auburn at Auburn the last 2 years in a row? This 9 game schedule proposal is fraught with peril for Georgia.

  5. stoneydawg

    The final solution will be schedules made by ESPN and CBS. If UGA vs AU is a big ratings game, it will be played. Same for UA/UT. If not UA vs UT will be University of Texas, not Tennessee. I complained last year about paying to be an extra in a tv show. That is the bottom line, loud music, mascot races, or not.

  6. AusDawg85

    Take the 9 and dump Auburn. I’m so sick of them anyway. And the Dawgs’ need more exposure in LA and TX to help with our recruiting.

    • Sanford222view

      If you have 9 conference games you wouldn’t lose the Auburn game. That is one of the main reasons to go to 9 so as not to lose the traditional cross divisional rivalries.

      • Dog in Fla

        AusDawg85 wins trip to re-education camp to remember how two or more reactants yield one product

        • Ausdawg85

          I’m sticking with my original assertion no matter how flawed it may be.

          And I hate Auburn.

          • Dog in Fla

            Okay. Stick with that. But just know that at re-education camp, recalcitrants can’t have any pudding.

  7. Dog in Fla

    “In fact Richt thought the two coaches famously on opposite sides of the issue – Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema – sat very close together.

    “There might have been one guy (in between them). It might’ve been Hugh Freeze in between,” Richt said, smiling. “But that didn’t seem to be a problem.”

    There is no problem with Hugh playing the part of a buffer zone except when he gets hot or if the zone is heavily timbered:

    “Buffer zones have various purposes, political or otherwise. They can be set up to prevent violence, protect the environment, protect residential and commercial zones from industrial accidents or natural disasters, keep prisoners intent on escaping from rapidly acquiring hostages or a hiding place, and have uses in several other scenarios. Buffer zones often result in large uninhabited regions which are themselves noteworthy in many increasingly developed or crowded parts of the world.”

  8. Sh3rl0ck

    I would rather have them undo conference expansion. Get rid of Mizzou and A&M, and go back to the way it was. They didn’t get the extra TV money out of CBS and ESPN, so the expansion was a waste. I’m fine with kicking out Arkansas and USCe too.

  9. Big Shock

    More SEC games = fewer bowl eligible SEC teams…and maybe an extra 10-2 vs 11-1. Somebody just has to figure out how much money the conference is making on that 6 win team in a bowl game, that extra BCS game, now maybe one more team in the playoff (especiallly when it moves to 8…maybe 3 of 8). I don’t see the conference going to 9 for a long time, becasue that’s a whole lot of money at risk. I would love 9 conference games. I’ll take an extra trip to Ole Miss to watch UGA over watching Ole Miss and some MAC team in mid-December any day of the week. For that matter, I’ll take another trip to Ole Miss over watching UF and Louisvillle in the Sugar Bowl.

    • Dog in Fla

      Not that there was anything wrong with watching Charley Strong pay back Florida in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl from Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      You raise an interesting point, BS (while snickering at the initials). Maybe the conference actually will clear more moola by leaving things at 8 SEC games because of the increase in bowl revenue by having Missy State and/or a UK or Vandy making it to a bowl without that conference loss that would keep them from getting to 6 wins.

  10. Derek

    I think that Saban is, as usual, making a self serving calculation. The deeper your roster the more you can handle a tough schedule. He’s probably got 50% more guys ready to play than anybody else. The fewer tough games you play, the less you can take advantage of your advantage. Right now bama has two to three teams on the schedule who have any chance at beating them. We, like most teams, have around six. You increase that to seven or eight and you make those two to three tough games for bama even easier. I know he says he’s looking out for fans but Saban only looks out for Saban.

  11. I’m still holding out hope than in all this “big boy conference will be spun off unto themselves” talk about the NCAA, that it includes a we only play each other in football aspect. It’d suck for some smaller schools to lose their pay day, and us to lose the joy of a Southern over Florida or App St over Michigan, but I’m with Saban in wanting to see more major conference non conference games, and a bit less variance in scheduling from hard to pack of directional nobodies.

  12. Bright Idea

    14 team league should play at least 9 to offer legitimacy to its champion but that’s not what it is all about. 9 ain’t too tough. Most years at least 2 of those will be weak as branch water.

  13. jack

    Come on, have a little love for a classmate.

  14. Debby Balcer

    I want the rivalry games preserved. The expansion has been better for the team’s brought in than it is been for the team’s already in the SEC.

  15. PTC DAWG

    With 8 games and one constant, the other 6 teams in the other division could be played every 6 years….just not home/home…

    If they went to 9 games with a constant, the other 6 could be played every 3 years..this would be my preference..I see no need to go home:home with the rotating teams myself. Teams would roll around twice as fast.

  16. Dawgmeat

    Nine games means good bye for playing the gators down there every year. Dawgs can not keep up with the Jones with only 6 home games per year.

    • Again, they’re staying in Jax as long as it pays better than going home-and-home. Regardless of the conference schedule.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        So….you’re saying that UGA stays in Jax even if it means a 5 game home schedule some years?

        • reipar

          It would likely be 6 home games instead of five. The years we only get four homes SEC games (with one of those actually at j-ville) we would get Tech, and two cupcakes at home. That would make for 3 SEC home plus three non-conf for six total.

        • If the money’s right, absolutely.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            If that were to happen there would be a revolt. I’m saying the fans are close to having had it already and to have only 5 home games and 2 of those to be cupcakes would incite insurrection–farmers from South Georgia storming B-M with pitchforks like the French stormed the Bastille, stockbrokers from Buckhead throwing water balloons containing red Kool-aid, lawyers from Midtown angrily protesting in a disorderly fashion. McGarity had better get out of town or the mob will tar and feather him if the Dawgs have a schedule like that. That might be enough so when the time comes for making contributions and paying for tickets our abused fans just might decide to use the money on a 100 inch Hi-Def 3-D TV and watch in the comfort of their own homes where beer is free and they don’t have to stand in line to take a pee.🙂

            • I think you’re confusing your own feelings with those of the fan base’s.

              People are more unhappy about paying full price for cupcake games than anything else.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                I think you are confusing your own cheapness with that of the fan base.🙂

                • Cheapness? What are you talking about, Mayor? I’ve got season tickets and usually make a road trip every year, plus Jax since 1979. I rarely miss a home game, even when it is against a cupcake. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  17. C.S.

    Nick Saban is gloomy

    As opposed to how he normally is?

    • Dog in Fla

      Gloom and go-to songs are happy parts of being the Prince of Darkness. There shall surely be a day of reckoning for those coaches leaving Lucifer stranded on the lonely island of a 9 game conference schedule. Those non-believers shall all feel the wrath of Beelzebub for that isolation if not at this Destin but the one thereafter and by Derrick Henry on the scoreboard

      “Burns has the stereo on “Tumbling Dice.” Saban listens for a few bars, then hits a button to cue up another Stones tune that seems to better suit his mood: “Sympathy for the Devil.” He gazes out the passenger-side window at the Alabama campus. The place is quiet, the velvety green quad nearly empty. Pretty soon players will show up for practice. Students will arrive for the fall semester. A new football season will begin. Saban nods his head as his man Jagger sings:

      Pleased to meet you
      Hope you guess my name
      Ah, what’s puzzling you
      Is the nature of my game.”