Daily Archives: May 12, 2022

Doing the conference scheduling shuffle

Over at The Athletic yesterday, Aaron Suttles and Seth Emerson ($$) filed a story about where things stand with the SEC’s scheduling logistics in the face of its soon to be 16-school size.  Picking my way through the bones, here are what seem to be the key points:

  • There seems to be a priority being placed on schools facing each other in football more often than once every six years.  According to Greg Sankey, that is something the conference planned to address even before this last round of expansion.
  • The conference has not walked away from staying with a divisional format, but it’s almost impossible to square that with a more frequent rotation between teams unless the SEC either goes to a nine-game conference schedule or does away with its permanent cross-division rivalry games.
  • Speaking of expanding the conference schedule, it sounds like there’s still a fair amount of resistance to walking away from the current eight-game format because of the potential impact on bowl eligibility for some schools.
  • The top two priorities are exactly what you’d expect — not screwing up the cash cow that is the SECCG and now harming the conference’s chances to place team(s) in the SECCG.

There’s the expected “all options are on the table” talk there, and in this case, I’m sure that’s not an exaggeration.  The problem Sankey has is that there’s no magic formula that will satisfy every school.  Alabama and Georgia, for example, have bigger fish to fry than worrying about bowl eligibility, but that’s of little comfort at places like, say, Missouri and South Carolina, which scraped their way to bowl games last season.

Another consideration not fleshed out is how the hierarchy of schools is determined if the SEC ditches the divisional format.  Whether you call it division-less or pods, who decides the top two teams to earn berths in the SECCG?  Is that something the conference subcontracts to the CFP selection committee?  (Probably.)

My guess is that divisional play is about to be sacrificed on the altar of postseason efficiency, although look for Sankey and Company to sell it as really being about fan friendliness.  Should that be where things wind up, I’ll be curious to see if there’s any change to the way we all perceive the SECCG, especially once the day comes when the CFP expands to twelve.

38 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Early 2022 betting lines

Via FanDuel Sportsbook, here are some spreads for SEC games:

  • Utah at Florida -2.5
  • Oregon vs. Georgia -16.5
  • FSU vs. LSU -4.5
  • Tennessee -4 at Pitt
  • Kentucky at Florida -4
  • Alabama -15 at Texas
  • Miami at Texas A&M -9
  • Ole Miss -10 at Georgia Tech
  • Penn State -1 at Auburn
  • Arkansas at Texas A&M -7.5
  • Alabama -17 at Arkansas
  • Texas A&M at Alabama -16
  • Alabama -16.5 at Tennessee
  • LSU at Florida -3
  • Ole Miss at LSU -2.5

Roll Tide, baby.

I will say Florida is getting more respect than I expected.  More than LSU is, anyway.

What do y’all see there?

38 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

TFW the best things in life aren’t free

A couple of proposed changes being considered by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee sure seem like manna from heaven for the SEC.

Personnel limitations: This change would eliminate the limit on the number of coaches who may be employed by an institution, and it may or may not be paired with a concept to eliminate all personnel designations (volunteer coach, grad assistant, analyst, etc.). Schools could pay for as many full-time assistant coaches as they can afford. And little things like who is or isn’t allowed to wear a headset during games wouldn’t matter anymore.

Team financial aid limits: This may not be fully fleshed out until later in the summer because it would require corresponding legislation regarding limits on roster size by sport. But the idea would be that conferences or schools could decide to offer as many full scholarships for as many sports as they can afford. If you really want to be good at baseball, you can put every single player on the baseball roster on a full scholarship. The thinking behind this idea is simply: If college athletics is supposed to be about opportunities for young adults, then why are there arbitrary caps on team financial aid in any sport? If you can afford it, you can do more. This would be a significant shift for a league like the SEC, whose schools are set to receive more money than anyone else in annual distributions from media rights deals and sponsor fewer sports than their peers in the Big Ten or Pac-12. Basically, the idea is schools could decide which sports they want to invest most in to be nationally competitive…

(With regard to the latter, my understanding is that wouldn’t apply to college football.)

Nick Saban with an unlimited budget for full-time assistants?  Can you imagine how many people ‘Bama would flood the recruiting market with?  Or, for that matter, Georgia?  And that’s before you even get to the concept of rich schools simply raiding their less financially blessed brethren to poach good coaches.

Yeah, the transfer portal and NIL are going to be the death of college football as we know it.

9 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

“Georgia Football is Falling Apart… LITERALLY”

This was also shared with me by someone (thanks, W.H.) via email, who thought I should turn around and share it with the class.

This dude sees nobody talking about Georgia this offseason as a bug, but I suspect if you asked Kirby Smart, he’d see it as a feature.

By the way, I have no idea what the random clips of football plays not involving the Dawgs are there for.

Enjoy!

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Pinocchio in the SEC West

Tell me, which of these do you think is the bigger fib?

I lean towards Saban’s comment, although if Jimbo’s being truthful, that’s a helluvan admission.

16 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

There’s still work to do in Montana.

An alert reader (thanks, Sam!) forwarded this eBay listing to me.

If it’s snark, it’s brilliant, but I don’t think snark is one of eBay’s strong suits.

24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football