One man’s “What’s the point?” is another’s “Just shoot me”.

Why you gotta bring me down like that, Ed Aschoff?

You simply can’t fight change. Doing so is foolish. That’s one reason the SEC has been so successful during the past decade. Those eight national championships in 10 years didn’t just materialize overnight. Careful planning and excellent business sense from league officials, universities and coaches have helped the SEC rise above the rest in college football.

Thanks to the skillful mind of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive, the SEC has stayed ahead of the curve for most of the 2000’s. New commissioner Greg Sankey is in the infancy of his reign as league commissioner, but if he wants to give the SEC another leg up on the competition, he could take a radical step into future planning.

Petition the NCAA to get rid of divisions in college football … even though the SEC created them in 1992.

Honestly, what’s the point? They are outdated, and hurt the conference more than help it.

And why so?

Elimination of divisions would also ensure that the two best teams would play in Atlanta every year. The West has won seven straight conference titles, six by 14 points or more. Florida (2008) is the last East team to win the conference. Let’s not act like there hasn’t been an imbalance of power in the SEC, thanks to divisions. There is an obvious disparity, creating more worry for teams and their true playoff hopes…

Nothing wrong with getting the most competitive game possible in your most important game every year by guaranteeing No. 1 vs. No. 2, which — wait for it — increases playoff hopes even more!

The SEC’s won, what, eight of the last ten national titles… so I guess if there were no divisions, it would have been a clean sweep.

At some point, my insistence that an expanded postseason is going to dilute the most unique thing college football has going for it, the most meaningful regular season in American sports, is going to resonate more generally.  When?  Well, if you ask Aschoff, probably ten years from now.

Cherish these days, SEC fans, because in 10 years you won’t recognize your league.

Another wave of expansion will hit and with the College Football Playoff expanding to at least eight teams within the next decade (sooner rather than later if the NCAA is smart), the SEC will go to nine conference games. The league finally will get rid of divisions (you’re welcome, Auburn and Missouri) and crown its winner by having an outright champion.

What, no SEC title game? Well, once the playoff expands (thank you) and the SEC moves to nine conference games, coaches will let their athletic directors and presidents know that they aren’t going to want to play more than 12 games before the playoff. Makes sense, so you either eliminate a nonconference game or the championship games. Less nonconference games hurts the smaller schools and since championship games affect fewer teams, buh-bye.

Gosh, I feel better already.  ‘Scuse me while I kiss the brackets.

58 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

58 responses to “One man’s “What’s the point?” is another’s “Just shoot me”.

  1. PTC DAWG

    Power swings come and go, that said, the SECE has two teams that do not care one bit if the compete in football…add in Carolina and there you have it. Realignment makes more sense to me.

    • Otto

      Each side has 3 teams that have historically been capable of national title (Bama, LSU, Auburn vs UGA, UF, and UT) runs. The West may have 1 more capable program with A&M free of Texas. Arkansas is about on par with South Carolina.

      The Mississippi schools will fall whether by coaches getting hired away, sanctions, or just lost momentum.

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        It’s stupid. The East had a 6 game winning streak during the height of Florida and Tennessee’s run in the 90s. These things tend to even out.

        And regardless…Florida was 7-1 last year with a win over Ole Miss.

        • I would add that the competitive balance began to change when the SEC West became the SWC with its stretching the rules to and beyond the limit and oversigning/NFL roster management practices.

          • PTC DAWG

            Exactly all of this…I still say that all the teams in the West will stop at nothing to win…..not true of all in the East…

      • Gatorhater27

        I don’t see how you can include UGA as a team that’s “historically been capable of a national title” unless you’re going back to the Herschel era.

        • playmakers in space

          If you can include Auburn and UT in the discussion, you sure as shit can include UGA. And the qualifier is “capable” not “won recently”.

          Our program gets Dawgraded enough without having our own fans do it.

          • Macallanlover

            Exactly. Our fans can really act like they are 12 years old at times. Put Georgia on any team’s schedule and they will pay attention. We are no one’s whipping boy, including the biggest names on the SEC. We have earned our respect, and deserve it. Doesn’t mean we win every game but check our record against every SEC team the last 5-10 times we played them. We have some fans that will drop to their knees for any other team’s fans. No balls, no pride.

  2. Why have conferences at all?

    • Otto

      An expanded playoff may lead to that.

      However, conferences have created a revenue model that would be hard to replace. Do you think that the Mississippi schools, Vandy, Kentucky would agree to leave the SEC money behind? Would Indiana, Purdue, etc agree to leave their Big10 contract behind? Would Bama, Texas, tOSU, USC agree to share revenue with mid majors or even their old Conference members?

  3. Dog in Fla

    Roy Kramer enters a dimension beyond space and time

  4. Slive is somehow getting credit for the 30+ years of Companies and Carpetbaggers Migrating South? That’s bullshit–He can’t do that–Only our guy Adams can take credit for gains made through things that were totally out of his control…like the Hope Scholarship.

  5. JCDAWG83

    I’d rather see the SEC send Texas A&M and Missouri to the Big 12 and keep the divisions and the 8 conference game schedule with the SECCG.

    My opinion only, take it for what it’s worth.

  6. sniffer

    I’ve long thought that a one game conference championship is weak. Top two teams from each division play (West1vEast2,etc) with the winners playing the real championship. None of this namby-pamby CFP crap. We all know that real football is only played in the ESSEEESEE.

  7. Debby Balcer

    I don’t think he has an understanding of the future of football anymore the ESPN has an understanding of how entertainment will be delivered in ten years.

  8. My only response to this argument is that look at college basketball. The conference tournaments in basketball are not necessary for determining the NCAA field unless you are on the bubble – yet they exist because they provide a revenue stream.

    The Championship game will not go away because there is money to be made there. Once they are not making money then they go away.

    • Otto

      The argument the ACC wanted to make was to put their 2 best teams in the championship game which keeps the game relevant which creates viewers, which makes $$$.

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        Agree with this. $$ is king.

        Here’s what I think it most profitable…and therefore, most likely.

        Championship games stay…conferences really don’t care how they pick the two teams so little attention will be given to regular season. You’ll get all P5 schools with games…those will be automatic qualifiers. You’ll get some sort of ‘independents/small school’ championship that will let NBC pimp Notre Dame an extra week. That’s 6 teams…and then you’ll get a ‘selection’ show with an additional 2 teams to fill more time on ESPN and then funnel 8 teams into the Playoffs/ Bowls.

    • The conference tournaments in basketball go back to a bygone era where the conference champion was the only team that made it to the NCAA tournament.

      • Gaskilldawg

        Actually in those days of 1 tournament team per conference the ACC was one of the few conferences with a tournament. The Pacific Coast Conference (which became the PAC 8, then PAC 10, then PAC 12), Big Ten, Big 8, SWC, and SEC did not have tournaments. The ACC started a tournament because it needed the money.

  9. 92grad

    Ya, no…

    We are not giving up all that money and our regional pride for some dang trophy. Winning the sec is and always will be the real prize. The rest is just entertainment.

    • Otto

      I do not see any money given up in this model, I do not believe they are stating eliminating the SECCG. The SECCG would be determined by SEC records or rankings, or some combination.

      Eliminating divisions would removes ties to division scheduling. UGA would not be tied to play say… UT every year. Dropping UT from an annual game would open up scheduling Bama or LSU more often. Another example is, Auburn would not be tied to LSU which was not a rivalry prior to the SEC division split. Auburn would be free to schedule Florida which was a rivalry game for many years.

      I am not for eliminating divisions but it could actually create more money by creating better match ups during the season, and a SECCG with 2 playoff contention teams, rather than a Mizzou or SC that is not in the mix.

      The horror I see is that with the talk of NFL models, the scheduling would take on a NFL style strength of schedule which would have the scheduling released in January for the following year. Again I will also add that the SEC needs to keep permanent rivals in place.

  10. Joey of the Herb

    I say we kick Missouri, South Carolina, Vandy, and Arkansas out of the conference. We should add Clemson, Oklahoma, OK State, and Florida State.

    • Otto

      Add FSU, and USF, lock down Florida talent, and TVs. FSU is also a national brand. SEC now has programs in 3 of the 4 top talent producing states (CA, FL, TX, GA) and the most dominant in state programs in 2 of those.

      4 divisions of 4 teams ,

      Season of 3 division games, 3 permanent cross division rivals, 2 teams on rotation.

      Conference playoff for the 4 division winners.

      Expand the national playoff to 8 teams with an auto invitation to the conference playoff winner.

    • Herschel Krustofski

      I say kick out Kentucky, Vandy, Missouri, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Then add Texas, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Florida State.

      And if we need to, swap out Arkansas and South Carolina for the real USC and the Green Bay Packers.

  11. @gatriguy

    Kick A&M, Mizzou, and Arky to the Big 12/SWC reboot, SCU to the ACC. 10 teams, go to a 9 game round robin and eliminate SECCG. Just my two cents of course. YMMV.

  12. scrambledawg

    The East won 8 of the first 11 SECCG. UT and UF are historically better than anyone in the West other than Bama. I agree that the West is deeper than the East, but jettisoning divisions isn’t the right way to solve the problem. Not sure how Auburn fans feel about it, but I’d move Auburn to the East & Mizzou to the West and go to a 9 game schedule w 2 permanent cross-division rivals (Aub and UT for Bama; LSU and Bama for Aub, etc).

    I’m sure no moves are going to be made until the Big 12/10 blows up though. They have no prospects for expansion that makes fiscal sense and they feel vulnerable. Would not shock me to see OU and KU join the Big 10 to be reunited w Nebraska…

    • The league is not going to 9 unless the WWL tells them to in the next round of TV contract negotiations or an SEC champion doesn’t get in the CFP because of schedule strength. SEC ADs and coaches love the taste of cupcakes and enjoy baby seal clubbing.

    • PTC DAWG

      Which annual game does Bama drop? Au or Ut? Not gonna happen…unless ALL the cross dividional rivalries go away, I for one, hope they do not.

  13. Semper Fi Dawg

    the author is an ole miss grad. of course he wants to kill the divisions so he can get out of the west…..

  14. CB

    Aschoff is spot on. The conference championship game is generally a meaningless money grab that usually has more of a chance of taking the SEC out of the playoff rather than catapulting a team in (ie if Florida or Missouri had won any of the last three).

    The idea of the regular season losing much value seems a bit overblown. Even if the playoff expands to 8 teams it’s not like players are going to sit out games during rivalry week, one loss could easily put a program out of the top 8 spots, and best case scenario they’d hurt their seeding. The field is so much bigger in college as compared to professional sports that shirking would rarely make sense (if ever).

    Also, the implications of a less meaningful regular season pales in comparison to the excitement of an increasingly meaningful post season IMHO.

    Ratings may eventually tell a different story, but I’m against pandering to the lowest common denominator if it means a offering nonsensical means to crown a champion.

  15. Does anyone actually think $ankey and the suits in Birmingham are going to allow anyone to win the conference and won’t get in the playoff?

    • Dog in Fla

      Leave Greg alone! He was busy reading about teamwork, sacrifice and hunting season

      Rev. 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

    • CB

      Highly doubtful Florida would have gotten in this last season with two losses, and pretty much no way Mizzou would have gotten in with two losses in 2014 having gotten waxed by Georgia and also losing to Indiana which is a basketball school.

      • CB, I guess you missed my point. Florida and Missouri would have had to beat the West champion and the SEC officials to win the conference championship game because the suits in Birmingham would have made sure that every close call or break would go against them.

        • CB

          I see. Conspiracy theories. Ask the 2001 #2 ranked Tennessee team how that worked out for them against #21 LSU.

          • It’s more about a close game – LSU beat Tennessee by double digits.

            • CB

              “Does anyone actually think $ankey and the suits in Birmingham are going to allow anyone to win the conference and won’t get in the playoff?”

              That doesn’t mention anything about a close game. My point is, the SEC Championship is an arbitrary extra game and annually stands as a possible inhibitor to the best team reaching the playoff. If something crazy were to happen and Florida had won last season, or Mizzou the year before then the SEC would have been left out because neither of those teams deserved a shot at the conference title. They were just the best team in a weak division. The title game is a money grab and doesn’t prove anything. The only reason it crowns a champions is because we say it does. It’s somewhat tantamount to using a “next point wins” system to determine a champion when one team is up by 20.

              • Oh, I agree with you. It’s about the $$$ and nothing more. My only point is that an underdog is going to play perfectly to win and then hope that the crooked SEC officiating doesn’t step in to take it away from them in a close game.

  16. MGW

    Regarding the non-divisional stuff, I like it. Nobody’s realistically going to leave the conference and I’m sick of never playing anyone from the west but Auburn more than once every 6 years.

    Although I like a SEC championship game.

    As for the rationale? Not so much. I couldn’t care less about playoff seeding. If you have a good team, you’ll get in. If you’re not one of the four best teams or your on the bubble, I’m sorry but you just should be lucky to have every had a shot in the first place. There aren’t more than 4 worthy teams in any year, especially given that most years its a clear top 2, maaaaybe 3 on occasion.

    As for an 8 team playoff, thats a bunch of pinko garbage as far as I’m concerned. What the f*** do any of these teams need another dime for, and if you think 8 teams is necessary for football to float your boat you need to go find another sport.

    • Otto

      I agree with the 8 team playoff being garbage but…. it will get expanded at some point.

    • CB

      120 teams including 60 some odd P5 schools and Notre Dame, and you’re kicking back an 8 team playoff? The NFL is playing the same sport with a 12 team playoff in a league with only 32 teams. Does it seem like they’re product is hurting? You might point out that they rest players at the end of the season which would be a fair point, but that would not happen with an 8 team CFP playoff because it would be almost impossible to lock up the #1 seed (or any seed for that matter) before the season ends because less than 7% of the teams could get in as opposed to 37.5% in the NFL.

  17. Trbodawg

    64 schools 4 conferences (8 teams per division) the whole season is playoffs…

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