Time for SEC to go to nine-game conference schedule

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said he expects a vote on the nine-game football schedule before the league meetings in late May. (AP photo)

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said he expects a vote on the nine-game football schedule before the league meetings in late May. (AP photo)

There’s been a lot of talk about the SEC adding a ninth conference game, and commissioner Mike Slive said Monday he expects the league’s decision makers to vote on the topic before the spring meetings (May 27-30).

Many people, including AJC columnist Jeff Schultz is in favor of teams adding a ninth SEC game. So am I.

Better schedules mean better games, more opportunities to be on TV — especially with the shiny SEC Network — and, ultimately, more money. Not just for the networks and the schools, but also for the SEC’s smaller college towns, which thrive on packed stadiums in the fall.

Coaches and ADs have their reasons not to like it, including the loss of potential rivalry games and missed bowl appearances by teams that needed another win to qualify.

The SEC is exploring its options with different formats. Any of them would lead to better games and an upgraded product.

Here are the non-conference games for SEC teams in 2014.

Alabama: West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Western Carolina (These teams were a combined 13-35 last year)

Arkansas: Nicholls State, Texas Tech, Northern Illinois, UAB

Auburn: San Jose State, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Samford

Florida: Idaho, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Florida State

Georgia: Clemson, Troy, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech

Kentucky: Tennessee-Martin, Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville

LSU: Wisconsin, Sam Houston State, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State

Mississippi State: Southern Miss, UAB, at South Alabama, Tennessee-Martin

Missouri: South Dakota State, Toledo, UCF, Indiana

Ole Miss: Boise State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Presbyterian

South Carolina: East Carolina, Furman, South Alabama, Clemson

Tennessee: Utah State, Arkansas State, Oklahoma, Chattanooga

Texas A&M: Lamar, Rice, SMU, Louisiana-Monroe

Vanderbilt: Temple, Massachusetts, Charleston Southern, Old Dominion

There’s plenty of room for another SEC game on these schedules.

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60 comments Add your comment

[...] Time for SEC to go to nine-game conference schedule [...]

[...] Time for SEC to go to nine-game conference schedule [...]

[...] So much for that nine-game SEC schedule that’s generated so much buzz. [...]

DawgNole

April 24th, 2014
7:20 pm

Remarkable
April 23rd, 2014
9:41 am
I think it should be left to the schools to schedule a stronger opponent, and hopefully it will be out of the conference . . . .
_____________________

Hopefully it will be OOC? Hopefully???

It would HAVE to be OOC. Teams can’t schedule their own conference games.

[...] B/R’s Barrett Sallee pointed out and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Andy Johnston noted, the SEC should have more than just Alabama’s Nick Saban pushing [...]

key3 geo1 | key1, geo1 | key6, geo1

April 24th, 2014
10:11 am

[...] B/R’s Barrett Sallee pointed out and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Andy Johnston noted, the SEC should have more than just Alabama’s Nick Saban pushing [...]

[...] B/R’s Barrett Sallee pointed out and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Andy Johnston noted, the SEC should have more than just Alabama’s Nick Saban pushing [...]

psychovol2

April 23rd, 2014
7:10 pm

Surely you’re not comparing the ACC to the SEC. The strength of schedule within the ACC is nothing to brag about so no wonder the coaches don’t mind. Tennessee always plays tough out conference teams and this year is no exception with Oklahoma, not to mention 2 other bowl teams in Utah St. that will be ranked in the top 25 and Arkansas St. that also went to a bowl. The only exception is in state Chattanooga. I’m not against a 9 game conference schedule but only if it makes it more fair for everyone. Teams like TN that play a permanent rival like Bama are getting the short end of the stick.

$^$&^%#$

April 23rd, 2014
1:37 pm

By going to a 9 game schedule, you penalize the teams that are already scheduling a couple of “real” non-conference games and really penalizing the teams that have a rivalry with a non SEC school. Teams like Florida and UGA (Tech may not be that good, but they typically are a bowl team). Instead of changing the SEC schedule, which really could hurt the conference when it comes playoff time (extra games = extra losses), why not change the playoff system where a team has to have a certain number of wins over BCS schools? That way, you not only have better games, but you avoid having the same old Ohio State (you can substitute Notre Dame as well) scenario pop up every year

[...] but Miami’s Al Golden and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer supported the idea for the ACC. I wrote about the SEC’s nine-game quandary yesterday. Both talked about the potential schedule change on Wednesday’s league teleconference. Golden [...]