Today, in will the SEC move to a nine-game conference schedule?

I think Finebaum is pretty spot on with this:

“Outside of Nick Saban’s office, there is none,” Finebaum said of support for a nine-game schedule. “I don’t see it. There are a lot of reasons for it. I think from their standpoint they are very concerned it would create more difficulty filling the bowl alignment, in terms of the number of SEC schools that go to bowl games. So, when you add another game, do the math: it’s another loss somewhere. I think the feeling at least of the coaches right now is they don’t want that. I think it’s easy to look at the other side, and frankly, I’ve always agreed with Nick Saban that nine conference games offer many positive things, especially for athletes playing to be able to see other teams in the league. Right now, you can go seven, eight or nine years and never see anyone else (cross-divisional teams) outside of the SEC Championship Game.

A ninth conference game that replaces a cupcake match means seven coaches take a loss they weren’t saddled with before.  When you’re making $4+ million a year, that could be a problem.  So, yeah, there’s always going to be significant resistance.

This part, though, I think Finebaum overstates.

“I also think it creates a degree of negativity outside the league,” Finebaum continued. “David Shaw from Stanford made a big deal about this a couple of years ago. The Big Ten continues to take shots. And I think the SEC leaves itself vulnerable by only having eight conference games.”

Nobody in the SEC gives a rat’s ass what David Shaw thinks.  As for vulnerability, last year saw two SEC teams reach the CFP (and play for the national championship); it’s not unreasonable to think there’s a realistic possibility of a repeat in 2018.  Could that change down the road?  Sure, but if there’s one thing conferences are comfortable doing, it’s putting off worrying about something until it’s a real threat.

Barring expansion, we’re not getting nine conference games any time soon.

Advertisements

42 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

42 responses to “Today, in will the SEC move to a nine-game conference schedule?

  1. Barring expansion or the WWL kicking in another $X million per team in the contract

    Fixed it for you. 😉

    It’s all about the money and nothing else.

    Like

  2. You can only get away with these ‘garbage games’ for so long. What is missed with this is ‘quality of game’ that fans are PAYING for. And paying ‘less’ for the ticket is chump change, when you add in the travel cost for the games. Attendance was down around the nation, including in the SEC last year. Keep it up and they’ll kill the Golden Goose…

    Like

    • Schools have played cupcakes since the dawn of time. Will this push people to TV rather than in stadium? Maybe because every game is on TV now. The bottom line is that the market is saturated at this point, and until an undefeated or 1-loss SEC champion is left out of the CFP, there is no motivation to change. P5 schools need 7 home games to make the numbers work. There aren’t enough Kansas and Wake Forest schools out there to make the scheduling work without mid-majors and/or FCS.

      Like

      • paul

        eethomaswfnc you are correct to point out that the cupcake diet will continue until it costs someone a shot at the playoffs. Money talks. Until the committee comes out and says “so and so got left out because they played three glorified scrimmages” nothing will change.

        Like

        • Mayor

          The “cupcakes” of the 60s and 70s weren’t the same. They were 2-9 teams from the Pac-8 (later Pac-10 and Pac-12) or SWC like Oregon State or Texas Tech. They were what would be called Power 5 teams even though they were at the bottom of their conferences. The teams we play as cupcakes now are D-1AA.

          Like

          • Otto

            Sometimes, sometimes not. UGA did not have more teams like Houston, or Oregon St playing in Athens without return trips.

            However was Houston any more interesting to the fans then than UMass today?

            Cupcakes will continue as long as ADs can sell out season ticket packages with them on the slate. PAC12 ADs need more big games to get their fans to show up. For the most part the SEC does not have such a problem

            Like

            • Russ

              Houston was a home and home (we lost in the Dome by 1 point) and we were tied by Paul Gipson and Houston at home in 1968. They were hardly a cupcake.

              I agree with the overall sentiment, that “cupcakes” were more substantial back then. You didn’t have eleventy dozen small schools trying to play with the big boys for TV money.

              Like

              • Russ

                Of course, I forgot that we got Houston to come here in 2001 (the game delayed by 9/11) and we didn’t go back. Too bad as I’d have enjoyed seeing the Dawgs just a short drive away.

                Like

                • Otto

                  We’ve been there once in the Astro Dome I believe Patrick Garbin posted in one of his articles it was the 1st time UGA played on turf. They’ve been to Athens 3 times since.

                  http://www.winsipedia.com/games/georgia/vs/houston

                  Not the best example on my part with Houston but UGA could get one game deals with TCU, Baylor, Oregon St etc for much less. Further the money was not the same then as now. UGA made many trips to the Orange Bowl for Miami without a return trip to Athens during the regular season. I’d love to know how those deals were structured.

                  Was Houston, TCU or Baylor, or Oregon St. much more of draw then than UMass now? In my opinion, no

                  If Richt were not at Miami, I think Miami would make for a great home and home, and as I have stated I’d like to see one with FSU. Miami may back out as it would not surprise me if 2/3rd of the capacity of Miami’s stadium was red and black.

                  Like

                • Otto

                  Yes I agree that the field is flooded now with eastern, central, west state U.

                  What was once a cupcake is now a P5 school and may have a good program. The gap between the majority of P5 programs has narrowed over the years.

                  Like

            • Stoopnagle

              We have an all-time losing record vs. UH. (And Rice for that matter)

              Like

          • PTC DAWG

            I know Richmond came to town..

            Like

  3. JCDAWG83

    Send Missouri and Texas A&M to the Big 12 where they belong and that will help with the issue somewhat.

    Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Dealing in reality is sometimes a good thing. That’s not happening, we may want it to happen, but the ship has sailed. It would take a massive realignment of 3-4 major conferences for this to be considered.

      Like

      • Mayor

        Well, there needs to be a massive realignment anyway. CFB needs to have 4 super conferences.

        Like

        • Otto

          Ugh no. I actually like the current rotation in the SEC and just wish each SEC school would schedule to 2 P5 OOC games.

          Like

          • PTC DAWG

            That would be my preference…..assuming ND gets the Power 5 exemption, anyone else?

            Like

          • Mayor

            I was actually referring to the playoff problem where one Power 5 champion (at least) gets left out of the 4 team playoff each year. If we had 4 super conferences of 16-20 teams each split into 2 divisions the conference championship games would be a de facto first round of an 8 team playoff, with the 4 conference championship game winners moving into the 4 team playoff, then the winners of the next stage moving on to the national championship game.

            Like

            • Otto

              Debate creates viewership. 4 super conferences takes away debate.

              Also 4 super conferences will leave programs without a seat at the table which is not happening especially as the current model is creating enough revenue to take away incentive to change.

              Like

  4. PTC DAWG

    To those that don’t like UGA’s schedule now, let this happen. Forget ND…we have to play GT….forget OK ST home/home..we have to play GT…forget AZ ST…we have to play GT….

    Get the picture?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Like

  5. Stoopnagle

    2006 saw the addition of the 12th game, simultaneously allowing 1 win against I-AA/FCS teams to count towards bowl eligibility.

    In terms of using the 12th game to schedule a P5 team, UGA has taken the high road:

    2006: Colorado
    2007: Oklahoma State
    2008: @ Arizona State
    2009: @ Oklahoma State, Arizona State
    2010: @ Colorado
    2011: Boise State (Atlanta)
    2012: None (Buffalo, FAU, Ga Southern)
    2013: @ Clemson
    2014: Clemson
    2015: None (ULM, Southern, Ga Southern)
    2016: North Carolina (Atlanta)
    2017: @ Notre Dame
    2018: None (Austin Peay, MTSU, UMass)
    2019: Notre Dame
    2020: Virginia (Atlanta)

    In 14 seasons, we’ve not played a P5 (other than Tech) only 3 times. I don’t know how that compares to our peers, but I’m guessing pretty good. Especially when you factor in that we play Tech every year, so anytime we add one, we’re playing two. I’m guessing that our scheduling philosophy considered the Georgia Southern game as a something since 2 of those 3 seasons without the P5 had Southern on the slate. Who knows? We do know we won’t be seeing them again anytime soon.

    2021: no P5, one game remains to be determined
    2022-23: no P5, two games remain TBD
    2024: no P5, three games TBD
    2025-26: @UCLA, UCLA

    Our remaining SEC West rotating schedule is:

    2018: @ LSU
    2019: A&M
    2020: @ Alabama
    2021: Arkansas
    2022: @ MSU
    2023: Ole Miss
    2024: @ A&M
    2025: LSU

    Not sure why I did all of this, except the post made me wonder if we’ve been honest with the 12th game. It looks to me like we’ve done well with it, so I might be a bit more understanding with the 2018 schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      I looked at pretty much the same thing on a separate post. And Georgia compares favorably to everyone else in the SEC in this regard. Of the teams with a permanent P5 school on the schedule, Georgia’s the only one that consistently schedules another P5 out of conference. Florida has been scheduling three cupcakes almost every year. South Carolina has been pretty good with it, actually, scheduling UNC or NC State about half the time.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      HIGH road for sure. People have short memories.

      Like

    • Otto

      As Stoopnagle posted UGA has done better than most at scheduling OOC. I’d like to see another brand name in at least 2 of 3 years from 2021-23. Clemson was making noise which if they are not on the schedule for another home/home, 7-8 years is about the time to renew UGA’s border battle against Auburn with a lake.

      Like

      • Stoopnagle

        I looked at their schedules and they’re pretty much scheduled up for the time being. If we did something with them, it’d be pretty far down the road and/or have 3-4 year gap between games.

        Like

        • Otto

          They seemed willing to go the extra effort to schedule UGA. 2021 is open. 2020 or 2022 would depend on if they could buy out or move a cupcake to another year.

          http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/acc/clemson-tigers.php

          You could put the offer on the table and see if Dabo will back the talk.

          I would be up for 2021 Clemson in Athens returning the trip in 2024 and which from what I can tell (I maybe blind) is open.

          Again they have been willing which takes away the excuse of we can’t get ____ because they won’t agree to play us.

          Like

  6. Jeff Sanchez

    1) Move to a nine game schedule
    2) Get rid of divisions
    3) Every team has five permanent opponents (for us, Auburn, SC, Tenn, Florida, Kentucky)
    4) Rotate the remaining four you don’t play every couple years after a home and home
    5) Top two teams play in the SECC

    Like

    • paul

      I like this idea.

      Like

    • Otto

      I can see the debate for the top 2 should multiple teams finished tied which will happen. Do you go off AP, Coaches, playoff selection rankings?

      LSU, Auburn, and Bama all tied with 1 loss to each other?

      On the flip side one of the reasons CFB thrived in the 2000s was the unfairness of the BCS. I am getting less interest in Pick’ems and CFB discussions on other forms of media with the play off than the BCS.

      Like

      • Otto

        Further who would go last year.

        UGA 1 loss to Auburn
        Bama 1 loss to Auburn
        Auburn 1 loss to LSU (in the SEC), 1 loss to Clemson who is in the playoff.

        Does the out of conference loss count? if so does that push teams to schedule cupcakes?

        Again what are the tie breakers, good idea in theory harder to have clear cut tie breakers in practice.

        Like

  7. It will only become an issue if/when the conference goes through a period where the conference winner is having difficulty getting into the CFB playoff and a weak schedule is cited as the reason.

    Until that happens and if they can continue to command the $ from tv contracts, then 8 games it is.

    Like

  8. Anonymous

    Public reminder that most of the people bitching about cupcake games today are the same people that complained about scheduling home-and-homes with Power 5 teams making the path to the BCS harder. When McGarity was hired they celebrated that he would bring in the Florida type schedule where they never played an out of conference game outside the state since it had brought them two recent MNCs.

    Like

  9. I personally love the Roommate Switch, staying at 8 games, with 3 permanent and 5 rotators. I would tweak the model the guy created to throw a bone to traditionalists that want zero change. My model:

    Foundational Pods:
    1: Georgia, Florida, Tennessee (old east)
    2: Auburn, Alabama, LSU (old west)

    Rotator Pods:
    1. South Carolina, Vandy, Mizzou, Kentucky (old east)
    2. State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, A&M (old west)

    Permanents Opponents:
    – For 3 team foundational pods, the other 2 in your pod and 1 permanent from the other foundational pod. (self-explanatory)
    – For the rotators, the other 3 in your pod.

    So every year (or other year if you do home/home) UGA would have Alabama or LSU, with a total of 6 former “west division” opponents. Then every other year, it would look like the current East/West alignment. Basically, the “big 6” rotate through each other quicker as well as rotate the lesser 8 in groups of 4. The big sacrifice is that we would play Mississippi State as much as we play South Carolina. Boo hoo.

    Like