Shiny object syndrome

Lest we forget, here’s what all that stupid SEC schedule/division rejiggering chatter is really all about.

There’s now a new argument that maybe divisions should be abolished in the SEC just like they were in basketball a few years.

Actually, this isn’t a bad idea if you have the teams with the best two league records meet in the conference title game. It would more often than not produce a more competitive game and add a higher strength of schedule component to a matchup played the day before the College Football Playoff Commtitee meets to decide the four playoff teams for that season.

Gotta keep that selection committee interested!  I would say it’s just like the Big 12, except the weird part is that it’s the SEC that’s fighting the call.

The whole thing was a joke. Something everyone in the room could laugh about. It was just unclear why.

The scene was SEC meetings in Destin, and commissioner Greg Sankey was holding a wrap-up session one evening with the media. The subject was a potential Auburn division switch. Someone asked if it was a dead story.

“I don’t know that it was ever a live story,” Sankey said, smiling wryly. “The only time I’ve ever talked about it in Destin, Florida, was here in this room.”

So, a reporter jumped in, you talked about it in other places? People laughed.

“I was in a room in Hoover, Alabama and I was on the phone with Jon Solomon (of CBSsports.com) and he asked me,” Sankey said, still smiling.

So have you talked to your coaches about it? More laughter. More smiling from the commish.

“Since I have been commissioner,” Sankey said, going into putting-my-foot-down-with-all-you-people mode, “I have never once talked to our football coaches about any team moving to any other division.”

I can see it now – fans begin clamoring for realignment, the media keeps harping on it and the conference finally (and clumsily) embraces it just as Saban retires and the CFP expands to eight teams, rendering the whole thing moot.

Then, everyone finds a new shiny object to fixate on.

12 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

12 responses to “Shiny object syndrome

  1. stoopnagle

    I blame Missouri – or, really, I guess Texas.

    • Macallanlover

      Don’t know if you mean that as TAMU, or if you are serious, but I think Texas A&M was not a good addition, it was an outstanding addition any way I view it. Much better than SC and Arky in the 90s, and more SEC tradition-like than FU, to me. Really don’t have much issue with the current 14, although I get the questioning of Mizzou being the best choice we could have made. But if all this is about the loing time before teams come up on the schedule, the 9 game conference schedule deals with that. Heck, make it 10 conference games, even better.

  2. Guz and his rabbit foot should be at the head of this proposal, LOL

  3. Otto

    If it expands to 8 regular season ratings will drop just as basketball and NASCAR have with the post season making the regular season more of a long preseason.

    • JCDAWG83

      Only if the 8 are picked by some BS committee. Make the 8 have to be conference champs and the regular season is as good or better than it is now. Teams can schedule better out of conference opponents because a loss to an out of conference opponent wouldn’t cripple the chance of making the playoff. The root of the problem is the beauty pageant/figure skating aspect of the playoff where the participants are picked with some subjectivity and they don’t get in the playoff based solely on winning on the field.

      • Otto

        8 conference champs would further decrease ratings. Why would I want to watch PAC or B1G games if the SEC champ has an auto bid? Why would a team risk injuries playing some possible real competition, if it won’t help them get in the playoff. The Foley scheduling model becomes much more viable.

        As much as people hated the BCS it created talk, because it was unfair. You also never knew when Pitt would upset WVU, or UCLA upset USC to completely change who was playing for the title. I am a member on a few car forums, and have noticed how college football topics in the off topic areas have dried up with the current playoff.

  4. CB

    I’m confused. If divisions are eliminated then how could the SECCG make any sense at all? Think about it, there would be two teams that just played an entire season in the same conference, one will probably have a better record than the other, and there is a good chance that both teams will have already played earlier in the year.

    Say a 9-1 Bama ends up playing an 8-2 Auburn that they just beat the week before. If Auburn wins how could they be justified as a champion when they have the exact same record as Bama and they split their two meetings? The championship game is already pretty stupid IMO because in most cases the higher ranked team would have been in the playoff regardless of whether they played in an SECCG or not. In the rare case of an upset the SEC could end up losing a playoff/BCS spot entirely (2001 Tenn). I understand it ultimately comes down to TV money, but eliminating divisions would make the CG even more useless.

    That said eliminating divisions isn’t a bad idea, but I’d also get rid of the CG and opt in for a 9 game conference schedule. One extra game per team to sell would probably yield more revenue than one SECCG.

    • Otto

      With 14 teams a 9 game season leaves plenty of opportunity to have teams tied for a conf champ and it makes it harder for a team like UGA whose in state rival is out of conference to schedule out of conference games. I had rather see Arizona, South Bend or Oregon over College Station.

      Yes the Bama Auburn scenario could play out but far more often wouldn’t. UF / FSU had the same type scenario play out for championship games, and they resulted in some awesome games. Dropping divsions would bring up cases where tie breaker rules getting very interesting. I can see multiple teams being tied at 1st or 2nd who haven’t played each other to have a direct tie breaker.

      • CB

        If you play 9 games then you up the likelihood that teams actually play one another therefore decreasing the likelihood for tie breaker rules. All the issues you just described are literally the same issues that already occur when the SEC is deciding the division championship.

        Name me one time since 1992 that tie breakers would have been necessary if my outlined system above were in place, and I’ll explain how no divisions and no SECCG would solve the problem.

        News flash, you’re much more likely to Charleston Southern in the current format than you are Oregon or Arizona (which was a weird choice btw).

        • Otto

          Championship games aren’t going way so it isn’t worth typing to debate scenarios without them. Championship Game Tie breakers becoming interesting ’07, ’03, ’11 (do you go to overall records) The point of a championship game is to determine who is most deserving of playing in the playoff, especially in a model without divisions.

          BTW if you’ve missed it, Bama, Auburn, LSU, UGA, and even Ole Miss are opening with big out of conference games. All I want is 8 SEC games, GT, 1 other P5 game, and a cup cake for home coming. Evans was headed in that direction. McGarity was moving to the Foley model. BTW there is increasing talk and movement to forcing teams to schedule P5 competition rather than FCS cupcakes.

          • CB

            “Championship games aren’t going way so it isn’t worth typing to debate scenarios without them”

            That’s exactly what people were saying about the BCS in 2009, y’all have to learn how to read the writing on the wall.

            With a 9 game schedule there is a higher chance that the records would have been different in 07, 03, and 11. Georgia could have played LSU in the regular season in all three if those years problem solved. The championship game is an obstacle, what if Mizzou had beaten Bama a couple of years ago? The SEC would have been shut out of the playoff. I can’t think of many times that an SEC team was catapulted into a title by the championship game. In most cases they would have gone regardless.

            Newsflash, Georgia is in the East which is worse than the ACC therefore they have any number of in conference cupcakes to schedule for homecoming, some of which may be worse then FCS teams.

            “All I want is 8 SEC games, GT, 1 other P5 game, and a cup cake for home coming.”

            Your math is off by one. It’s a 12 game schedule yours adds up to 11. Georgia has plays no less than 2 cupcakes per year regardless of whether they play a P5 out of conference. A 9 game schedule simply eliminates one of those.

  5. Whiskeydawg

    Let’s just keep fine tuning the SEC out of existence.