Greg Sankey’s “big-picture thinking”

More horseshit from everyone’s favorite SEC Commissioner ($$):

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.

66 Comments

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66 responses to “Greg Sankey’s “big-picture thinking”

  1. If the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry as an annual game goes the way of Oklahoma-Nebraska, that may be a bridge too far for me. In the meantime:

    Liked by 4 people

  2. NotMyCrossToBear

    Did that fucker mention neutral site conference games? Tell me he didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • otto1980

      The only up side of neutral site SEC games being impacted would be the Red River Game being moved as a byproduct of Texas arrogance of leaving the Big12. Texas and OU are for the most part happy to play in Dallas.

      Like

    • Hopefully that was acknowledgement of TX/OU and Jax. I suppose some city could bid for one (Jerry World) for something like TAMU/Arky if the $$$$ is right.

      Liked by 2 people

      • NotMyCrossToBear

        I’m worried they’re gonna do away with cross division rivalry games wherever they see fit if it makes them more money. “ Hey Georgia, you ony get to play Auburn once every eight years but it’ll be on the infield in Talladega. So that’s great isn’t it!”

        Liked by 1 person

        • coastaldawg

          I always felt neutral site games made the 9-game conference schedule easier. Everyone plays 4 home, 4 away and 1 neutral site. Lots of cities will pony up big money just like Jax.

          Like

    • Down Island Way

      “Blue skies smilin’ at me
      Nothin’ but blue skies do I see
      Blue days all of them gone
      Nothin’ but blue skies from now on”…if the sec commish is whistling these words, he’s been on Willies bus smokin’ that red sinsemilla stuff…

      Like

  3. ZeroPOINTzero

    Maybe ESPN metrics will show annual rivalry games put more eyeballs on Ford F-150 adds. Win win.

    Like

  4. What’s so terrible about not going to College Station?

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    • Once every twelve years? Cool, if you’re fine with that.

      Like

    • The Truth

      Why be in the same Conference? Why even call it a Conference?

      3 permanent opponents and play the other 12 home and away, 6 at a time, over 4 years in a 9-game schedule. Easy answer, Greg — have the balls to do it.

      Liked by 5 people

      • PTC DAWG

        that’s what I see happening, 4 groups of 4. Unfortunately, I do not see AU in our group. UGA/SC/KY/UF.

        That said, they would rotate around much quicker. AU and all the others would come up every other year.

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        • The Truth

          I’m not arguing for true “pods”. I’m arguing for what Matt Hinton’s tweet describes below — customize 3 permanent opponents for each team. AU, UF and SC end up being ours in most projections and I’m fine with that.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Tony BarnFart

            Exactly……a 16 team league. No pods (i.e. everybody has 3 permanents but they’re not part of a group of 4). It’s so clean to get the exact rotation through the league we want–every stadium in a 4yr cycle– with 16 teams and a 9 game schedule. And selfishly, as a bell-cow program, we will 100% get Florida and Auburn as 2 of our 3.

            I will happily take all those boxes checked and sacrifice moving kentucky and tennessee (or whoever) to an every other year thing. We’re still going to have our biggest 3 rivals every year……..hell we can’t even agree who the 4th biggest one is, so who cares ?

            Liked by 2 people

            • PTC DAWG

              The 4 divisions has two games at each stadium every 4 years…

              Something has to give to get the teams around more often. I’m fine with most anything…just play the teams more often than every 10 years.

              That said, I said below, I doubt they care what we fans think.

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              • Tony BarnFart

                I think you’d actually do 1 game in a rotating team’s stadium every 4 years (even your permanents are only 2 because everybody has to return the home game). What WOULD happen is you would play Texas and OU twice in a 4 year period…….once here, once there.

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          • Tony BarnFart

            And the tiebreaker system would not be that hard. A tie at 2nd place could often be decided by (1) head to head between those two and then, if they hadn’t played (2) how did each do against the number 1 team ?

            Like

    • Texas Dawg

      I’d kind of like to see my DAWGS more than once every 12 years w/o having to take a long drive

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ran A

    Yeah, they have had plenty of time to do the math on this. TV revenue verses getting out of some of those guaranteed cup cake games around the league. It’s pretty obvious the only way for this to make sense is to either put everyone together and the top 2 play for the championship (Big 12 Model) or to go in Pods, where you could still have an East and West (if you wanted), where there are two pods for each division.

    This ain’t rocket science. They have ran the numbers and the computer models – this fat lady was singing within two months of Oklahoma and Texas being accepted in.

    Rest of it is a bunch of smoke and how the league can leverage and benefit from it. If it happens to help the fan base – so be it. If not- too damn bad.

    Like

    • It’s pretty obvious the only way for this to make sense is to either put everyone together and the top 2 play for the championship (Big 12 Model) or to go in Pods, where you could still have an East and West (if you wanted), where there are two pods for each division.

      Or you could move ‘Bama and Auburn East, keep two divisions and all the historical rivalries in place by going to a nine-game conference schedule. So, maybe not all that pretty obvious. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      • fisheriesdawg

        Yeah, this is this simplest answer. The only traditional rivalry that goes away is Florida-LSU and I get the impression that both sides of that one would be fine seeing it go away from being played annually.

        There will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth about the East getting too strong, but I’m not sure that’s the case long-term. You’d have four power teams in the East (Bama, Georgia, Florida, Auburn) and a fifth with potential (Tennessee) and three power teams in the West (Oklahoma, LSU, Texas) with a bunch of programs capable of filling the gap on a rotating basis when they have a lot of seniors. But culturally, it makes a lot more sense…you’ve got one division that is 7 of the 10 original SEC teams (plus South Carolina) and another that is a mishmash of mid-South teams and old SWC/Big 8 rivalries. That works a lot better than trying to do the Legends and Leaders/Atlantic and Coastal competitive balance at a snapshot in time split. There are enough power programs in the league going forward that those things will ebb and flow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PTC DAWG

        IF you go that route, I don’t think the teams rotate around quite as quickly, which is most everyone’s issue now.

        2 8 division teams, 7 set games there, that leaves 8 teams to rotate….only playing them 2 at a time. Not ideal, IMHO.

        The 4 divisions of 4, puts a player on every campus in a 4 year cycle.

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        • PTC DAWG

          Hell, maybe twice in 4 years using this method. But “UGA/AU has to be placated”…they aren’t going to listen to the fans anyways.

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      • Tony BarnFart

        Two divisions of 8 with 2 rotators still leaves you 7 years before you cycle back to a stadium in the other division. Not good enough IMO, unless you’re OK with it just being two conferences with a scheduling agreement. Before we went to 14, and after we implemented 2 rotators, we were only 4-5 years between trips to stadiums, depending on who got the first home game when the series renewed.

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        • You play every team in the conference every four years, at worst. I’m good with that, given that it would leave the traditional rivalries intact.

          It’s certainly better than what we get now, and that’s with two fewer teams.

          If you want to go to a 10-game conference schedule with three crossovers, I’m all ears. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tony BarnFart

            What traditional rivalries are you worried about losing that won’t be captured amongst the 3 permanents assigned to every team ? Granted, I’m being selfish and working under the (safe IMO) assumption that Georgia-Auburn and Georgia-Florida have a snowball’s chance in hell of not being amongst those 3.

            Yes, we will likely have some pissing and moaning amongst the mississippi schools and kentucky’s, but I think everyone in a divisionless format is going to get enough of what they like. It’s just that fans in lexington and starkville may have to stomach just getting their ass whipped by EITHER georgia or alabama and not the same one every year.

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            • Tony BarnFart

              This is my token recognition that Starkville and Tuscaloosa are only 70 miles apart. Mehhh. They helped kill Clemson for us 30 years ago, so I’m not crying tears for the Bizarro Bulldogs. They’ll just see a little more Kirby and a little less Saban. Same story, same ending.

              Like

            • Tony BarnFart

              Also, you still kill whatever the MS schools and LSU hold dear about Auburn and Alabama by moving them to the East and putting them in the new Southwest Conference.

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            • SEC historical rivalries: UGA-Auburn, UT-Alabama, UGA-UF, Auburn-Alabama.

              One other historical rivalry: Texas-Oklahoma

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              • Tony BarnFart

                All protected in every proposed 3perm 6 rotating DIVISIONLESS format I’ve seen.

                The tiebreakers won’t be that hard. It will really come down to what to do in a tie for second between teams that haven’t played. First eliminator: how did you do against the #1 team ? Did Not Play advances to the SECCG over 0-1. That will be helpful in avoiding repeats. Both lost ? Take record against common opponents and if still tied, find highest ranked common opponent where game results differed (i.e. one lost, other won). If still tied, you can do all the things we do to crack division ties.

                I suppose you could have a 3 way tie of undefeateds at the top, but that’s gonna be so rare mathematically with 6 rotating opponents.

                Like

              • Anon

                Makes you wonder how much good will UT/aTm pisses away over the years by not playing. Could have been one of the best….up there with all the ones you listed above.

                Like

        • PTC DAWG

          Exactly, every 7 years sucks.

          Like

  6. Matt Hickman

    This, from @MattRHinton, makes a lot of sense to me

    Liked by 1 person

    • fisheriesdawg

      That’s surprisingly balanced except for Kentucky, who would get three also-ran programs every year. But it’s Kentucky, so the risk is a lot lower that they’d take advantage and beat out a better team on schedule. Ole Miss and Missouri would have easier rotations as well, but again, they’re not a huge threat in most years. The best programs would be playing each other, which works out well.

      Like

      • Tony BarnFart

        You also have to remember that’s just 3 opponents. They still have 6 others every year to provide plenty of ass whippings. Not nearly the “threat” of “the East is hot garbage pawwwwl.”

        Like

    • Morris Day

      I’d prefer to keep 10RC over sandstorm. But, maybe that’s just me…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 79dawg

    If it were all about the money and TV ratings, the ninth conference game would be the slam dunk deal of the century…. The fact that he is going to such lengths to avoid it shows that what this is really about is giving coaches and administrators an additional “soft” win so they can feel better when they put their heads on their pillows at night…

    Like

    • Still about the money. Nine makes it harder to get two into four team playoff, but easier to get 4/5 into twelve team format. Nine game schedule will follow playoff expansion.

      Like

  8. Granthams Replacement

    Part of the Georgia Auburn rivalry left a year ago when Greg conceded to move the date to October. Face it college football is moving towards NFL lite on Saturday. I’m sure their will be a round robin type schedule that also affects FSU/UF, Clemson/S Carolina, UK/Louisville and Tech.

    Like

    • otto1980

      I haven’t watched the NFL in 20 years, I can turn off the college game too if that is their path.

      Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      More good games sounds good to me, not sure why NFL lite has to be thrown around.

      College Football wishes they had the TV ratings approaching NFL level.

      Like

    • Tony BarnFart

      Dude, in Hinton’s format, there is no way in hell that we’re not getting florida and auburn every year. What we do with Tech is on us……..but frankly, in this 16 team league with 9 games, the only thing we’re going to maybe see less of is Notre Dames and Clemsons……there aren’t even really that many non-conference teams I’d go to the mat over to play in the regular season. Ohio State ? Maybe, but the only time we were set to play them it got cancelled.

      In a new divisionless league, you’re going to see 15 other teams a lot (including the 2 most important EVERY year)……that is 10000xs better than being committed to vandy, mizzou and kentucky every single year. And yes, I like kentucky.

      Liked by 2 people

    • If the Tech series ends without us throwing the Drought on the ash heap of CFB history first, I’ll be seriously pissed.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. rigger92

    It’ll be whatever espn wants it to be. I am curious how espn is going to handle the 16 games they get after CBS goes away. There aren’t enough channels so they will need to ensure that streaming brings in enough revenue, which seems risky to me.

    Like

  10. setzer613

    Just asking would you take tech off the table to save the auburn game?

    Just a question to stir the pot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      The barners every other year is plenty for me…

      The GT game has been a no win situation since Dooley showed up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think we should do either. Drop the Charleston Southerns for a 9th conference game.

      The league made its bed when $ankey decided to take the call from OU and Texas.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Truth

        12 games = 9 SEC, Tech, a “good” game (Clemson, Ohio St, Oregon), and a cupcake. Easy peasy.

        If we are who we think we are, or, at a minimum, are becoming who we think we are becoming, we should welcome this with open arms.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The Truth

          And if any of us think the SEC doesn’t allow for some near cupcakes the way things now stand… We’ll still have two cupcake games a year.

          Like

      • PTC DAWG

        I don’t see any way to make this work without going to 9 SEC games…I think that’s coming for sure.

        Like

  11. PTC DAWG

    UGA has a game scheduled in Norman for the 2023 season, so we got a jump on things.

    Like

  12. Counterpoint: 14, much less 16 is too many damn teams in a conference.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. classiccitycanine

    Anybody got Gregg’s home address? If we lose the annual Auburn game, there could be some eggs coming his way.

    Liked by 1 person