And the future schedule and divisions remain firmly in the “who knows?” stage. Few around the league are openly campaigning for divisions, pods or eight/nine-game league schedules.
The goal most frequently expressed by Sankey and others around the league, publicly and privately? Schools shouldn’t go 12 years between visits to another campus.
“We’re going to have cherished games continue, but I could see it being different,” Sankey said. “When we expanded, I asked two things. One is, blue-sky, big-picture thinking. Take a step back and think when we bring Oklahoma and Texas into the league, what’s a really wise way to schedule. The second is, we oughta rotate teams through campuses more frequently or I guess neutral sites in a few cases. Those are the two anchor points. We’re working with our athletic directors. We’ve had two in-person meetings. We’ve talked about what they each think and what’s their philosophy. What need to be the priorities. We continue to filter those down. We’ve got some time. But that big-picture thinking is what we’ve asked, to think about how we can rotate people through while still honoring our history.”
Well, bully for y’all. It’s not like anyone forced you guys into the current scheduling nightmare that’s left Georgia waiting another three years before taking its first trip to College Station. You managed that all on your own, because Mike Slive cut a disappointing TV deal the conference wanted out of, no matter the consequences.
More significantly, there’s nothing stopping you from ending the abomination at any time. If it’s so bad, why wait on the next round of expansion to correct it?
A nine-game conference schedule is an easy fix, even if it isn’t “blue-sky, big-picture thinking”. Which is why, when I read the first sentence and the last sentence of Sankey’s quote, I know it’s not gonna happen and, on top of that, the conference is about to jettison the annual historic rivalries like Georgia-Auburn. Because the train will be driven by two things, and two things only: money and the CFP. Those are the priorities of which Sankey speaks.