SEC non-conference scheduling: it just means less.

Welp, this is harsh.

SEC football has it figured out. The SEC has produced a consistent scheduling philosophy that guarantees every team in the league three virtually automatic victories a year.

The SEC scheduling model is locked in:

* Four non-conference games;

* One game against a fellow Power-5 Conference opponent (Arkansas notably abstains this season from challenging itself even once). To the SEC’s credit, that one game is usually a doozy, against the likes of Clemson or Florida State or Notre Dame, and if it’s not a name-brand power, it’s usually a really good team, like West Virginia or Kansas State;

* One game against a Division I-AA opponent;

* Two games against mid-majors who are no threat to win. Boise State and Houston need not apply. Memphis and Arkansas State pass for the best mid-majors on SEC schedules.

In 2018, every SEC team except Arkansas follows that exact model…

It’s all controlled scheduling, and it bolsters college football’s best conference.

That’s not a point of pride, Hogs.

14. Arkansas: Eastern Illinois, at Colorado State, North Texas, Tulsa. The Razorbacks are up to their old tricks. No fellow power-conference opponent.

Not that we should be throwing any rocks their way.

13. Georgia: Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, Massachusetts, Georgia Tech. Not much here. At least Georgia plays Auburn and LSU from the SEC West.

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43 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

43 responses to “SEC non-conference scheduling: it just means less.

  1. Will still argue to add Clemson to the yearly rotation. Make it the first game of the year. MB Stadium, Home, Away Rotation (and if Clemson insist – make the neutral game MB Stadium and Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte). This game helps both schools, adds to the rivalry and pretty much guarantees that it will be one of the two big games to start the season ‘every year’ that both alumni and fan bases would look forward to.

    It shuts up the critics and would still allow UGA to ‘shop’ for the USC’S, Notre Dames, Nebraska’s of the world to sprinkle in to ‘home and homes’. Or the SEC could add one more league game.

    Will say next year is much stronger. Notre Dame and Texas A*M are home games, while Auburn is away and we should see a much stronger UF team – and we’ll see about UT (away) and South Carolina (home).

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  2. 81Dog

    As long as coaches and ADs get hired/fired on the strength of wins/rankings/bowls, whose scheduling preference do you think will rule? The ones that create more wins, higher rankings and more bowl appearances, or the ones that please people outside the conference (especially media critics)?

    Fans might say they want better schedules and more interesting games, but they scarf up tickets to cupcake infused schedules and are less likely to call for heads with cupcake wins as opposed to “quality losses.” SEC teams have made this model work for BCS and CFP inclusion. Why would they change?

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    • Russ

      Exactly. With 1-2 SECs teams making the playoffs every year, this scheduling method obviously works. It won’t change until it quits working.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Agree, you don’t fix what isn’t broke. Hell, they have awarded Bama twice for it as a non division winner.

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  3. Biggus Rickus

    In addition to Tech, Georgia played Colorado in 2006, Oklahoma State in 2007, Arizona State in 2008, Oklahoma State in 2009, Colorado in 2010, a top 5 Boise team in 2011, Clemson in 2013 and 2014, North Carolina in 2016 and Notre Dame in 2017. Notre Dame comes back on next year, and Virginia is slated for 2020.

    I don’t care about out of conference scheduling much, myself, but if anyone can throw stones in the conference, it’s Georgia.

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  4. As usual, no credit for playing Georgia tech. Not saying I would take them off the schedule, but we are playing a P5 opponent.

    We should play a second P5 game on a regular basis, but until scheduling hurts the SEC in the playoff race, nothing is going to change. McGarity will wring his hands about the difficulty of scheduling a P5 home and home while he fills the schedule with cream puffs and baby seal clubbings at $55 a pop.

    Eliminate the FCS scheduling, SEC.

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  5. paul

    Well, the BCS claimed strength of schedule mattered and it didn’t. The CFP claims strength of schedule matters and it doesn’t. Until a team does not make the playoffs and the CFP committee specifically says it was because “you can’t make the playoffs by playing the little sisters of the blind” we will continue to schedule two or three games a year no fan wants to see. I would absolutely rather us lose to Clemson in a well played game than beat Austin Peay. I know that puts me in a very small minority but it’s true. The stadium is empty after half time for these cupcake games and I don’t even bother to watch on TV.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      A loss to Clempson last year may have kept UGA out of the playoffs, even as a 10-2 SEC Champ…

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      • Otto

        A win over Clemson as a 10-2 Non SEC champ may put UGA in the playoff and eliminated Clemson from the playoff

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      • Otto

        BTW Auburn was getting playoff hype before the SECG with a loss to Clemson

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        • PTC DAWG

          AU’s win over Bama was carrying them…not the loss to Clemson…our win over GT carried zero weight. …

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          • Otto

            The point was a loss to Clemson last year may not have kept UGA out of the playoffs, even as a 10-2 SEC Champ…

            UGA would likely play Bama in the SECCG which would end up carrying the UGA team.

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            • paul

              I’d rather be here bitching about a loss to Clemson keeping us out instead of basking in the glow of a win over Austin Peay. Any legitimate D1 team ought to be embarrassed to have Austin Peay on their schedule. They play in the Ohio Valley Conference. They’re the Governors. Their mascot wears a monocle.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Chickasaw

        That’s the problem with an “it’s all about the playoffs” mentality. I want to see UGA play Clemson and the Bumblebees because that’s a helluva lot more interesting than seeing UGA play South Pelican State or Succotash A&M. And I want to see UGA win the SEC because, damn, it’s our conference. If playing or winning any of that gets us into a “post season,” then that’s great dessert, but it’s still dessert.

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  6. Bright Idea

    I think a bigger reason for these cupcakes is the desire to have 7-8 home games every year and the money that comes with it. Not just the ticket price but all that comes with it and not paying to travel. Of course the coaches like the breathers for selfish reasons.

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  7. mwo

    That is the exact schedule model perfected by the Big 10 years ago. osu played every school in Ohio plus a weak big 10 slate. Only chance for a loss was from the wolverines. They didn’t even have a conference championship game and had an almost sure path to the bcs .

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    • dawgtired

      Some out there like to point to the SEC about poor OOC scheduling…and do it repeatedly. I see the same type of thing going on in all conferences. Maybe we should start scheduling teams like Indiana, Rutgers etc. Then they couldn’t complain about us playing patsies without condemning themselves.

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  8. Go Dawgs!

    Not to defend Arkansas, but I certainly don’t agree with the assessment that they “aren’t challenging themselves even once” seeing as how they’ve got Colorado State on the slate. The Rams aren’t a Power 5, but I believe that they’ve got a lot of potential as a mid-major.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      I’d argue that playing Colorado State is tougher than any of Georgia’s four non-conference games this year, including Georgia Tech.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Otto

        CSU vs GT is a push but for GT you have to waste time prepping the D to play the option, and your defense is more likely to get dinged and injured hopefully before a very important SECCG.

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  9. Macallanlover

    SEC and ACC should be ashamed with an 8 game conference schedule. The other three Power 5 conferences should get preferential treatment for the CFB Playoff. That might be the only way the fans get rewarded with better football games.

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  10. Derek

    If UF and UT ever get off the mat and become legit teams again, we’ll be grateful for the cupcakes.

    Its hard getting through a 12 game season with everyone targeting you. If you take the schedule we have and look at the programs and not the 2017 versions, it’s a significant schedule.

    LSU, usc, uf and Mizzou away from home.

    UT, auburn and tech (in the only place they can seem to beat us in the 21st century) at home.

    Besides if we get through this we have a chance at being the much more fresh and rested team on 12/1/18. That game is what matters.

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  11. PTC DAWG

    My point about GT remains, it is a no win situation…they garner zero respect.

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  12. Otto

    I would like to see SEC team play 2 P5 schools in addition to the current SEC schedule. If a school wants to fill in the remainder with FCS teams, I am fine with it.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Many years UGA has done just that…a lot of good it did us. If the SEC wants to mandate it, I’d be fine with it, but no need to punish your self when the current model works..( I think that would be the SEC’s take on your proposal) .

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      • Otto

        Bama playing big OOC game no doubt helped them rebuild. It does not do much good if your head coach will hardly get within 10 recruited players of the scholarship limit.

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    • The SEC should allow its teams to schedule inter-divisional games as non conference games in out of rotation years.

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  13. ASEF

    The analysis has it backwards. The SEC schedules this way because it can. Put another way, the SEC is successful, so it can do 8 conference plus 1 P5 plus 3 scrimmages.

    The P12 can’t sell those scrimmages. Apparently, neither can the B1G, at least not downstream of OSU.

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  14. AusDawg85

    The CFB committee will be paralyzed with fear all season that a undefeated Bama loses to a 1 loss UGA in the SECCG. Both would need to advance and the other conference commissioner’s heads will explode.

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  15. BCDawg97

    The key points as others have made that justify the likes of Austin Peays:

    UF and UT are traditionally good schools.
    a West crossover opponent of LSU

    Yes, if you look at the schedule in isolation of spring 2018, its a hot mess. But when the schedules were made 2-3 years ago, you don’t know the strength of a team. But I don’t fault ADGM for thinking “We’ve got UF, UT, AU and they are throwing us LSU”, let’s schedule some breathers.

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  16. Anonymous

    Arkansas had scheduled a home and home series with Michigan that was supposed to happen this year, but Michigan backed out of the deal two years ago.
    http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/07/report-arkansas-michigan-series-canceled/

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    • Ricky McDurden

      Was about to say, this article is pretty disingenuous with the hate it piles on Arkansas. They had Michigan scheduled but got left at the alter for Notre Dame with relatively short notice from a scheduling stanbpoint. Their options were basically find any school that is 1.) available and 2.) willing to accept a paycheck to come play us in Fayetteville. I don’t blame them for padding the rest of the non-con schedule given that they play in the SEC West and were also expecting to play Michigan.

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  17. And this is why, i gave up season tickets.

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  18. I think the SEC East is unfairly lumped into conference wide criticism. 4 of the original 6 SEC East teams have a permanent Power 5 rival in the ACC that (quite obviously) requires a Power 5 road game EVERY.OTHER.YEAR. That puts quite the burden on scheduling because you still need X many home games per year and so its not as easy to satisfy the mob with 1 off neutral site games like everyone in the West can.

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  19. Mayor

    Listen. This is about money. Is a team has 4 cupcakes then it can go 2-6 in conference play and still go to a bowl. Somebody has to be at the very bottom, but it is highly likely that under this scheduling model 10 SEC teams could go bowling. Maybe more. How many SEC teams went to a bowl last season?

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