Posted: 10:12 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014

SEC needs to expand conference schedules (column preview) 

By Jeff Schultz

SEC football fans deserve to see more conference opponents.

SEC football fans deserve to see more conference opponents.

The SEC’s coaches and athletic directors are balking at going to nine-game conference schedules. The latest evidence of this comes from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, who told the Baton Rouge Advocate, “That means seven more losses for certain teams.”

Well. So much for the Big Bad SEC.

I’ll have a full column on this later today. But the SEC will be making a mistake on several levels if it doesn’t expand from the current eight-conference/four non-conference-game format.

The Pacific 12 and Big 12 already play nine conference games. The Big Ten will expand to nine games beginning in 2016. Of the five major conferences, the only other hold out is the ACC. The ACC has flip-flopped on the issue but also seems to be moving in that direction. Complicating the situation is its strange agreement with Notre Dame, which remains independent in football but plays up to five ACC opponents a season. (If Notre Dame just joined the ACC full-time, it would simplify things.)

Back to the SEC: What’s really going on here is coaches don’t want one more chance on their schedule to lose a game. They would rather schedule Acme Tech and TV Repair to pocket an easy win, even if the stadium is half-empty by the third quarter. There is also some concern by schools like Georgia (Georgia Tech) and Florida (Florida State) that have major rivals, creating tougher schedules than the schools that don’t.

But using that as an excuse to not expand is short-sighted, and I’ll get into that in the column later on MyAJC.com.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column (subscription).

This will all to a head at next month’s SEC Spring meetings in Destin, when school presidents take a vote. There are at least three reasons why the Presidents need to — and I believe ultimately will — pass the nine-game schedules: 1) Television; 2) Money; 3) Playoffs.

Here’s your chance to weigh in on the subject. Should SEC schedules include nine conference games?

Some recent blogs and columns
– MyAJC ($): Richt has been tough, even if some haven’t noticed
– Blog: More arrests at UGA, and Herbstreit jumps Richt
– Blog: NFL must deal with Irsay (and Roddy White has his say)
– MyAJC ($):Georgia loses but Fox goes down swinging at NCAA
– MyAJC ($): Florida proving football school can win at hoops
– Blog: Bad sign? Florida struggles in win over Tennessee
– MyAJC ($): Georgia is given its chance to shine
– MyAJC ($): Page 2 special: College playoff arguments don’t make it wrong
– MyAJC ($): Falcons’ makeover has nice start but there’s more to do
– Blog: Braves make move for Santana, credit to Wren
– Blog: Falcons’ moves should improve both lines
– Blog: Braves now being bit by offseason decisions
– Blog: Braves’ rotation can’t afford Medlen’s loss
– MyAJC ($): Gregory says Tech needs to be tougher next season
– MyAJC ($): Nobody’s laughing at Ron Hunter, Georgia State now
– Blog: Denver to cut Champ Bailey, should Falcons cut him?
– MyAJC ($): Any use of ‘N’ word by athletes disrespects history
– MyAJC ($): Hawks’ season unravels; does anybody care?
– MyAJC ($): Mark Fox deserves to come back for Georgia
171 comments
mcdaviddawg
mcdaviddawg

I have already decided to not get season tickets for Georgia in 2015. The schedule is full of pansies at home.  It will be the first year without tickets in about 25 years.  To much money for to little.  Not even to get into that Richt barely has a winning record with the pansies.

DIT
DIT

If the SEC schools don't go with a 9 game conference schedule they should be made to have 2 strong out of conference home and away series with the Oklahom's Michigan's So. Cal's. etc. I wish UGA/Clemson would be played every year. Now we just need to add one more strong out of conference game to make two!

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Something else to note is that this would significantly reduce any other interesting cross-conference matchups outside of bowl season.  Alabama isn't likely to schedule a game against Penn State or West Viriginia if they already have to add South Carolina to their lineup.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Not wanting to go to a 9 game conference schedule doesn't detract from the "Big, Badness" of the SEC, that's determined by their results out of conference.  Quite frankly, the SEC needs to partner with the ACC to create a 9 game FBS schedule without penalizing Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, or South Carolina.  Seems like a no-brainer.

bulldawg14
bulldawg14

Would be awesome for the fans. I'd love to see it, but I can sympathize with the coaches. 8 SEC games is enough of a gauntlet. 9 SEC games? Whew.

Dawg350
Dawg350

You can expand it too 13 games..don't matter! UGA gonna beat em all!

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Why would we want more SEC games than 8?

FireSomebody
FireSomebody

Any year in which UGA can't beat Tech they aren't going to be in the discussion for anything relevant, anyway.  Tech is perfect for UGA - it's a name that looks decent enough on paper but never actually puts a dent in the record.  Move to 9 games and keep Tech.  

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

SEC teams need to go on a diet, and eschew the cupcakes. A nine-game conference schedule? Why not ten? It's a big conference. Fans don't want to pay full price to watch SEC teams gorge on cupcakes.

Baghead
Baghead

Yet another shortsighted article from an AJC writer.  Trust me Schultz, it wouldn't hurt the SEC one bit.  Wanna know why?  I'll tell you.  Because a 4 game SEC schedule is equivalent to a 9 game Big Ten.  Next time you write a dufus article, stop and think a few. 

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@DawgNole


"  I'm just glad the schedule is upgraded a bit for '14--and disappointed that UGA's isn't.  "


Yeah, have to agree with you there DawgNole, how disappointing UGA's schedule is so weak 2014 :


# 2 Auburn


# 4 South Carolina on the road


# 5 Missouri on the road


# 8 Clemson to begin the season


And, hopefully, # 7 Alabama in The SEC Championship Game


All before the play-offs even start.


Let's see :


FSU ?


# 8 Clemson


# 15 Louisville


# 17 Oklahoma State


# 21 Notre Dame


# 23 Duke


Who the hell else do you play ?


Actually, even these are weak sisters with one top 10.


I mean if you are # 1, you should be able to at least schedule some top 10 teams, or at least face one in your " conference " Chumpionship.


You have 1 top 10 team you play once with no prospect of another top 10 on the entire schedule including the ACC Chumpionship Game, right ?


We have five (5) Top 10 teams we play, if we get to play in our SEC Championship by direct comparison, right ?


Sure got to hand it to you there, that is a real improvement for FSU, one Top 10 team AGAIN - all season including ACC Chumpionship Game.


And, so disappointing that UGA Bulldogs only have five (5) Top 10 games including The SEC Championship if we can suffer through the injuries inherent playing 5 Top 10 teams prior to the play-offs or bowls even starting.


Have to agree that is just sad scheduling on UGA's part again this season.  Poor schedule for UGA and so much better schedule for FSU.


NOT.


If FSU played a 9th game in-conference, it could ONLY be against another UNRANKED ACC TEAM,


right ?

housedivided
housedivided

Based on past 10 or so years adding another SEC game would probably favor the SECw as that is where most of the heavyweights are now and have been. The SECwest teams already have to play each other. If the SEC adds another conf game, odds are good that an SECeast  team would add a highly top ranked team to their schedule. An SEC west team, odds are that they would add a lower ranked team. I know thats now. Things will shift. They always do. But as of now and past 10 or so years, with exception of UF. The recent MNCs are all in the SECwest. And that is not just the NC, but at least 2 runner ups that I can think of and one undefeated that didn't get a shot in 04.


And just for the sake of stirring things up, based on UGA's record against top ranked teams the past 5 years, IF I were an UGA fan, I would not want to increase the chances of having to add a top ranked team to the schedule.

ATLnative72
ATLnative72

So you want to throw away Alabama's budding rivalries with Georgia State and UT-Chattanooga?

Party pooper!

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

Be careful what you wish for Jeff. Ga has always tried to schedule cupcakes to pad the record.

And you know you don't like to write about Ga shortcomings. You know when you guys brag about Brothers record, it is full of sisters of the weak poor, Vanderbilt, Ky and the Ms schools. Throw a Buffalo in or any school where you didn't know they had a football team. Sound familiar?

Brother only loses 4 or 5 games a year, the problem is, they're decent teams. 

Ga has always been able to beat the crap out of the crappy teams. The boasting never ends.   

The Ga Way!

newgafatboy
newgafatboy

instead of playing more internal conference games how about rotating with other conferences,  say the SEC EAST play their regular conference games then add 3-4 pac12, the SEC West adds Big12 to fill out their schedule... then none of the conferences can complain of beating up on themselves...

newgafatboy
newgafatboy

Schultz, what you don't mention..is half the "local" small teams the SEC schedule are better and could beat half the pac12- big12 ... GSU, Troy, Alabama Birmingham,East carolina. All these teams have gotten better over the years, and i think part of that is playing up to the SEC over the years. the rest of the world just want to see the SEC beat up on themselves because the rest of college football cant do it on any kind of a regular schedule. sure every once in awhile, a team rises and gets it done, but it happens about as often as Hailey comet.

oh by the way schultzy... i got my limit of doves and 2 pigs again last fall...man they were delicious :)

 

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

It is time for Georgia and Tech to drop each other. I guess Fla. did not enjoy playing Georgia Southern. 

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

B.S.


The Pac-12, Big XII, Big 10, and ACC either already play 9 in-conference games, announced they will within 2 years, or have indicated they are maybe moving that way.


3 - Big 10

3 - ACC

3 - Big XII

6 - Pac 12

6 - SEC


The SEC has twice as many teams who made the AP Poll Top 25 for the most recent season than all but the Pac-12.


Pac-12 have :


# 9

# 11

# 16

# 19

# 21

# 25

average : 101 divided by 6 or # 17 average of Pac-12 ranked teams # 17


SEC have :


# 2

# 4

# 5

# 7

# 14

# 24

average : 56 divided by 6 or # 9 average of SEC ranked teams # 9


Again, twice as good as the Pac-12.


Jeff Schultz knows better than us in The SEC.


No, he doesn't. 


He is pandering to those conferences who do not as UGA does this coming season, just for example, face :


# 2 Auburn

# 4 South Carolina on road

# 5 Missouri on road

# 8 Clemson

and UGA wants to face # 7 Alabama in SEC Championship Game prior to play-offs.


B.S. is all I have to say that UGA also should have to face-off against another 9-team SEC Slate to legitimize our schedule 2014.


Jeff Schultz, let me know when FSU faces # 2, # 4, # 5, # 7, and # 8 prior to the play-offs like UGA 2014 ?

Jeff Schultz, let me know when Ohio State faces # 2, # 4, # 5, # 7, and # 8 prior play-offs like UGA 2014 ?

Jeff Schultz, let me know when OK faces # 2, # 4, # 5, # 7, and # 8 prior to the play-offs like UGA 2014 ?

Jeff Schultz, let me know when Clemson faces # 2, # 4, # 5, # 7, and # 8 prior to play-offs like UGA 2014 ?

Jeff Schultz, let me know when Oregon faces # 2, # 4, # 5, # 7, and # 8 prior to play-offs like UGA 2014 ?

Andy123
Andy123

@Baghead

Funny because I don't recall the SEC East being too hot of a conference in the last few years.   

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Baghead Slamming the Conference you just lost to in a Bowl game? Oh yea your in disguise.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ThomasBrown @DawgNole  

Putting words in my mouth again, ThomAss. Just can't help yourself, can you?!Nowhere have I said UGA's schedule is "so weak." I said it's not upgraded from last season--and it's NOT. Nor have I said FSU's schedule is stronger than UGA's--only that it's upgraded from last year's, which it IS.

TB: "I mean if you are # 1, you should be able to at least schedule some top 10 teams, or at least face one in your " conference " Chumpionship."

One of the more ignorant statements--and there've been many--that you've ever posted. FSU just finished #1 two months ago, yet they're supposed to "schedule some top 10 teams" for this season? DUH! The Noles faced a top 10 team in Auburn, spotted the SEC Champ 3 TDs, and still came back and won when it counted. Hurts, doesn't it?!

Stop your damn moaning, loser, and face the fact that your beloved Noles will stay at or near the top until they lose. Not one damn thing you can do about it either. Waaaaaaahhhhh!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown @DawgNoleI dont recall all the SEC teams being ranked, and you have no idea how any team is going to perform in 2014. Your beloved dawgs proved that last year, just like the Gators. 3NC in 20 years, killing you aint it.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@housedivided


I don't.  We already will face five (5) top 10 teams 2014 if we make it to The SEC Championship.


All these pundits of other conferences, and those pandering to them, want to talk ONLY about out-of-conference schedules because their conferences are ALL half as good as The SEC.


Seem to me that # 4 and # 5 were SEC East teams, weren't they ?


With # 24 Vanderbilt, there were just as many SEC West and SEC East, 3 each and # 4 and # 5.


The year before as well.


# 5 UGA, # 8 South Carolina, # 9 Florida and with # 23 Vanderbilt MORE with 4 than SEC West's only 3.


Have a hard time making that point, not stirring the pot as you say you were.

BamabackerinMiddleGA
BamabackerinMiddleGA

@WhiskeyBreath

Exactly what I spoke of in the post below.  Why do you have to call him Brother instead of Coach?  By mocking his religious faith, you offend me as well because that is also my faith.  Come on guy.  Emancipate yourself of The Band of Merry Morons and start posting comments based on facts worth reading.  Heck, you can even partake of those I've posted in the past.  They are not MY FACTs, just simply facts.  Maybe this is your schtick, but it comes across as simply trolling for negative feedback.  You can do better, sir.

Grant1296
Grant1296

They could always schedule OSU....

Doesn't get much more cupcake than that...

newgafatboy
newgafatboy

@leefrommeeks i don't think anyone "enjoys" playing that option attack :)  i know a few years ago, some western teams refused to schedule GSU.

Mulk
Mulk

@ThomasBrown  


Jeff Shultz,


Let me know when UGAG, LSU, Clemson and Florida all appear in the top 5 like last year. So much for rankings especially the ones that occur from now to October.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown Jeff Schultz, let me know when FSU, Ohio State, OK, Clemson, and Oregon have 4 players try to cash the same stipend check twice.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@gtcaryd


" Your in disguise "


???????????????


Dating that " student " at Georgie tek isn't helping any.  English his 2nd language, too, obviously ?

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@gtcaryd @DawgNole


What we proved last year is that we played seven (7) teams ranked for the season, not pre-season.


And, that we beat # 4 South Carolina and # 14 LSU.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@TheOldGuy @WhiskeyBreath  

Well honestly , yes Tech is a cupcake and I get no pleasure out of saying it.

However, Ga can be punks for bragging about beat them.

That is about like Bama bragging about beating Vanderbilt.

It would make us punks. No Ga, they will brag about beating both schools forerever.


ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@Mulk


Mulk = who says repeatedly, he is ONLY a Georgie tek fan, on another UGA blog, whining about rankings of football teams, his team on NCAA Probation in Football all 2014 yet again, and # 37 in winning percentage Mark Richt era 2001-2013 with just 99 wins 99-70 to our 126-45 which is # 8 and ending up, not pre-season, Top 10 in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012.


Which years, again, was it you made the Top 10 from 2001-2013 with your 1 win and 12 losses to our coach you whine about under-performing Mulk Georgie tek fan ?


None of them.


The closest you came was in 2009 at # 13 AP Poll, which you have NEVER WON EVER, but you went BACK on NCAA Probation 2009 and had to VACATE the win over Clemson thus not even an ACC Championship 2009.


Please whine about pre-season rankings between now and October please you whiny little Georgie tek brat.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

@gtcaryd @ThomasBrown Jeff Schultz, let me know when FSU, Ohio State, OK, Clemson, and Oregon have 3 players beat up  coed in a bar like Tech did some year back. Short selective memories.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@gtcaryd


Staked Georgie tek to a 20-point lead at their house, and still beat Georgie tek  for the 7th consecutive game at Bobby Dodd Stadium, named for a college drop-out, like yourself. Not that you have anything to do with Georgie tek.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown @gtcaryd@DawgNoleFeeling pretty good about that are you? You proved a SEC team who beat 2 good SEC teams finished out of the Top 25. Come on, just 1 more conference game.

bulldawg14
bulldawg14

@WhiskeyBreath @TheOldGuy  We're old in-state rivals. No matter how lopsided the rivalry gets (and just shooting straight here, we've been on the bad side of it before just like tech is now), we will always take great pleasure in beating tech just like they always have with beating us. Folks that don't understand that, don't understand the rivalry. 


Bama beat a terrible Auburn team in 2012 and guess what they did afterwards? They bragged, they talked trash, and they celebrated.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@Grant1296  So you think Auburn is a cupcake like Tech?


I wish dumb butt. And by the way, they kicked Ga's butt too. 

But you mutts being punks, you have some stupid excuse. 

Grant1296
Grant1296

What???

Nothing about auburn???

Seem to recall you Bamards

Crowing about beating AU...

Guess not so much right now huh...

BamabackerinMiddleGA
BamabackerinMiddleGA

@WhiskeyBreath

Cool.  Just bring your evidence or proof of Richt's "phony faith" and I'll eat crow.  Otherwise, congratulations newest pledge to the Band of Merry Morons.  Your comments carry the same weight as each of theirs.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@WhatExcuseNow  Look Bulldog, it is an unwritten rule

Alabama people never throw Bama people under the bus unless they are around Bama people. So I have to assume,

you are a new fan, or you would know that. 

As far as Brother, I hate phony Christians. I can smell a mile away. I got a feeling you are member of that club.

You guys are an insult to true Christians. 


So now you know it Sir!

BamabackerinMiddleGA
BamabackerinMiddleGA

@WhiskeyBreath

Honestly, sir you are the spitting image of Moist and you garner about the same respect as he does.  If that is the attention you seek and the parallel you wish to draw,

SO BE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

And No, I don't throw members of BamaNation under the bus, just you for mimicking the idiotic remarks of those tools in the Band of Merry Morons that deserve every bit of ridicule they receive from the posters here and fellow Bama fans.  Again, if your schtick is to chastise someone's faith to boost your opinions on a football blog, color me UNIMPRESSED and disassociate my Bama allegiance from you at all times.  That is All!!!!