Revised 13-team SEC schedule shouldn’t endanger Georgia-Auburn rivalry

The revised SEC logo has 13 pennants. (SEC)

The revised SEC logo has 13 pennants. (SEC)

As MrSEC notes, you could easily get a headache trying to figure out how the SEC is going to make a 13-team schedule work next year, but from all indications that’s just what the league is going to be doing.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told Bulldogs Blog “that’s the direction we’ve heard, is that we’re moving along with 13,” and with Texas A&M now officially in the conference the SEC even issued a photo of the rejiggered logo with 13 pennants.

Indications are that the SEC probably will be sticking with eight conference games until a 14th team is added at sometime in the future. That leaves seven teams in one division (most likely the West) and six in the other.

The problem with handling unbalanced divisions, as MrSEC explains, is that while normally a schedule with eight conference games includes five division opponents and three games against opponents from the other division, with 13 teams three teams in the larger division must play six division games (and just two non-division contests).

So the conference has to decide which previously scheduled West vs. East games won’t take place next year.

The assumption everyone appears to be working under is that all of the current “permanent” East-West rivalries, including Georgia-Auburn, Alabama-Tennessee and Florida-LSU, will be maintained.

“It’s critical that the Georgia-Auburn series stay intact in football,” McGarity told the Macon Telegraph last week. “I can’t imagine that being displaced or being discontinued. I think your traditional rivalries are always going to be there. Tennessee-Alabama, count on that.”

I hope he’s right. Of course, if Missouri winds up being the eventual 14th team in the league, it’s quite likely that Auburn will move over to the SEC East and the Georgia-Auburn rivalry won’t need protecting.

But until then any schedule changes that would interrupt the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry need to be vetoed by Michael Adams and McGarity, if necessary.

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287 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

September 27th, 2011
10:50 am

Go get Notre Dame I say.

That would be a trip

Fridawg

September 27th, 2011
10:52 am

Almost first…

Gordon

September 27th, 2011
10:59 am

When the SEC goes to 14 and if Auburn moves to the East, its true the Auburn/UGA rivalry will be protected, but what about Tennessee/Alabama? Alabama’s permanent opponent will be Auburn. Or will the SEC go back to 2 permanent opponents and a slower rotation of the non-permanent opponents?

It will also be interesting to see who UGA’s new permanent opponent(s) will be.

Logan Walker

September 27th, 2011
11:00 am

I really don’t like the idea of unbalanced divisions. It can’t be that difficult for the SEC to add a 14th member. I’m sure schools are salivating at the chance to join us.

bdawg

September 27th, 2011
11:03 am

The new structure will favor the East for a year or however long it takes to add the 14th

GT79

September 27th, 2011
11:04 am

Please invite Georgia Tech….we would love to be in the SEC and quiet all the talk about us playing in an inferior conference.

Jeremy

September 27th, 2011
11:04 am

Having divisions with 13 teams doesn’t work. If the SEC west only plays 2 out of division games with the east then the East will only have 7 games to play.

SSIgator

September 27th, 2011
11:04 am

Wait a minute. I thought that the SEC would take A&M only if the Big 12 took UGA? I guess the Big 12 caught on to that slight of hand even though OK, OK State and the rest were licking their chops at that possibility. I guess UGA could try the Big East. They appear to be looking for some teams.

reebok

September 27th, 2011
11:05 am

I don’t think this SEC will get anyone from what’s left of the Big 12, which rules out Missouri, and now that the ACC has expanded to 14 teams and added a steep Penalty for Early Withdrawal of $20 MM, I don’t think any ACC team will jump…so who is going to be the SEC’s 14th team? Somebody from the ragged remnnants of the Big East?

Dawg Man

September 27th, 2011
11:05 am

This conference expansion is stupid—bring back the SouthWest Conference. I guess since TCU is a Big East, then Hawaii and New Mexico will wind up in the ACC

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:06 am

@Gordon

Auburn would simply exchange Georgia for Alabama as their permanent cross-division rival and Alabama would continue their permanent rivalry status with Tennessee. The only problem for Auburn and Alabama is that their game has historically been the final game on their regular season schedule. Since Alabama and Auburn would now have the opportunity to meet in the playoff game, that creates problems for keeping the Iron Bowl as the final game.

Dontsufferfools

September 27th, 2011
11:07 am

I bet the SEC has a 14th member before Christmas, even if they “settle” for West Virginia. 13 schools gonna’ cause a lot of scheduling stink. The longer they hold the announcement of the new schedule the more certain adding a 14th becomes.

DawginLex

September 27th, 2011
11:08 am

Mizzou is the odds on favorite

Clemson and FSU will get blocked by in-state SEC members

I wish Notre Dame would get asked first.

Then Oklahoma

Then Texas

16 team super conference

Alphare

September 27th, 2011
11:08 am

Is it possible SEC may query some member to voluntarily give up its membership? and compensate the member with $20million?

Vandy or Kentucky may take the bait. The only problem is where can they go if they relinquish their membership.

USCndaATL

September 27th, 2011
11:08 am

If they add Missouri as the 14th member, I think they would move Alabama and Auburn to the Eastern Division. That would preserve the Auburn/UGA, Alabama/UT and Iron Bowl rivalries.

LHM1509

September 27th, 2011
11:10 am

Can someone please explaint to me how Missouri is a better fit for the SEC than FSU, Clemson or even WVU or VT. All of which are either in or very close to the “South East”? I still don’t get that. I understand about TV ratings, but how many SEC East fans will travle to Texas, much less Missouri?

Richard

September 27th, 2011
11:11 am

I know this will go NO WHERE, but it can’t hurt to ask….if anyone out there knows how to, or who to convince, or who needs to talk to who……but Florida State needs to, has to, MUST leave the ACC. As an FSU fan and alum, I am begging my SEC football brothers, fans, alumni groups, and SEC College Administrators…..please, please, please, please, please take us. Even Christ forgives sinners, can’t the SEC forgive us for making a HUGE mistake back in 1991? After my President voted to increase the buy out and THEN voted to add Pittsburgh School of the Deaf and Syracuse School of the Blind for our “SuperConference” (although I do not think of SUPER anything when I think of Pitt and Syracuse, except maybe SUPER cold in winter….and talk on the street is to bolster our SUPER Conference we will bring in the mega programs of UConn and Rutgers) SEC people, help a brother out. On behalf of FSU fans and alumni, our administration IS NOT LISTENING TO US….Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…..Yeah I’m a Catholic too with LOTS of guilt!

DawginLex

September 27th, 2011
11:11 am

SSI

This will be my last direct comment to you so have someone read it to you.

Can you not discuss anything without taking a stupid classless shot at UGA?

I know you are only doing it to get under our skin so you and Pollyanna are now on my ever growing official IGNORE list.

I am asking you to not copy and past my comments anymore and respond to them. If you have any speck of class, you will agree to my request.

If not, then you confirm my opinion.

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:11 am

@reebok

The $20 million exit fee is obviously an attempt to keep Clemson, VA Tech or FSU from bolting to the SEC, but it is not likely a steep enough penalty to have the desired effect. Adding more schools doesn’t magically convert the ACC into a football super-conference. The 14th SEC team will probably be one of those three.

DawginLex

September 27th, 2011
11:13 am

Likely candidates

Mizzou
Virginia Tech

Mizzou will likely get it because you can’t leave A&M as the only school that far west.

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:14 am

@USCndaATL

That doesn’t work mathematically. Do you know how to count?

Atlanta Gator

September 27th, 2011
11:15 am

“I bet the SEC has a 14th member before Christmas, even if they ’settle’ for West Virginia.”

WVU is the wrong pick for a lot of reasons. A media market that’s smaller than Mississippi, academic credentials that are far weaker than any existing SEC member university, darn few other competitive sports programs, and no national fanbase.

Bottom line: WVU is the sort of program that will reduce each member institution’s share of SEC revenue because their 1/14 share will be larger than what they contribute in terms of added television revenue—-and that’s not going to happen on Mike Slive’s watch.

Atlanta Gator

September 27th, 2011
11:18 am

“Mizzou will likely get it because you can’t leave A&M as the only school that far west.”

If adding Texas A&M was a home run, adding Missouri would be a solid triple. Missouri would another solid overall athletic program, a middle third SEC football team, and the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets.

Question is, are the University of Missouri administrators and fans ready to make the jump?

Gordon

September 27th, 2011
11:18 am

PigIron,

Alabama and Auburn will be in different divisions, so how will they play during the regular season every year unless they are permanent opponents? And if Auburn is Alabama’s permanent opponent, how can Tennessee be? The only way is to go to 2 permanent opponents.

Historian

September 27th, 2011
11:18 am

Hey GT79 you may not have been following the game long enought to know that GTech was once in the SEC and withdrew in order to escape the superior competition.Something about”Auburn played too rough”.

Hounddogman

September 27th, 2011
11:18 am

The best move for UGA would be to add Ga. Tech. Already play them in everything and wouldn’t have to add another conference game.

Moron dawg fan

September 27th, 2011
11:18 am

As long as our academic program continues to be internationally recognized as the finest in the land, I’m happy either way. When a person has a degree from uga, it really says something about themselves!

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:19 am

@DawginLex

If Mizzou comes, then Auburn will move to the East Division. VA Tech is a much better fit.

Duh

September 27th, 2011
11:19 am

Pigiron, it would work if you moved Vandy to the west, where they belong.

coachx

September 27th, 2011
11:23 am

USCndaATL

September 27th, 2011
11:08 am
If they add Missouri as the 14th member, I think they would move Alabama and Auburn to the Eastern Division. That would preserve the Auburn/UGA, Alabama/UT and Iron Bowl rivalries.

Please learn basic Math
6 +2 -2 = 6
6 = 2 = 8

In other words…….if you add Mizz and A&M to the West and put Auburn and Alabama in the East you wind up with a 6 Team West Division and a 8 Team East Division.

Learn to add and get caught up with the rest of us.

Had It

September 27th, 2011
11:23 am

It’s ALL about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

coachx

September 27th, 2011
11:23 am

Sorry for typo
6+2 = 8

Vandy in the West

September 27th, 2011
11:25 am

coachx, move vandy to the west, that makes it 7 and 7. Math is easy!!

SSIgator

September 27th, 2011
11:25 am

Richard -

You have the Bowden clan to thank for that move. FSU was asked years ago to join, but Mr. Dadgumit wanted nothing to do with the SEC. Enjoy going to Pitt in November.

Atlanta Gator

September 27th, 2011
11:25 am

“Is it possible SEC may query some member to voluntarily give up its membership? and compensate the member with $20million?

“Vandy or Kentucky may take the bait. The only problem is where can they go if they relinquish their membership.”

Your suggestion demonstrates absolutely no knowledge of or respect for the shared history of the SEC whatsoever. You might as well suggest that we force Florida or Georgia to join the ACC. This is exactly the kind of one-school-as-overlord crap that Texas A&M joined the SEC to get away from.

Why is it that the SEC is as strong as it is? Because every program has an equal vote and gets an equal share. The SEC has no buy-out clause or exit fee because we don’t need one.

Question

September 27th, 2011
11:26 am

If there are 13 teams, with 7 in the west and 6 in the east, 4 east teams will play only 7 conference games. I say, lets play 2!!! UGA vs UF in Atlanta and Jacksonville in 2012!!

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2011
11:27 am

Don’t think the increased exit fee in the ACC is that big of a deal. It only increased $4 million (from $16 to $20 million). From what I read, the powers that be wanted to raise it to $34 million, but is was FSU that balked and they all settled on the new $20 million.
The big question is, if FSU is so happy in the ACC, then why balk at the increased exit fee?

Get the hate out!

September 27th, 2011
11:28 am

ssigator, I would like nothing more than to meet you in person. So I could kindly introduce myself. Think you could get permission from mommy and put the child porn down long enough?

LHarding Dawg

September 27th, 2011
11:28 am

Bill, if Auburn moves over to the east, who would be Georgia’s permanent lock in the west?

Birmingham Jacket

September 27th, 2011
11:28 am

Yippee!

New SEC shouldn’t change DAWG parties on the Peanut Farm!

LeftCoastDawg

September 27th, 2011
11:28 am

Go get Baylor, they’re the best of the rest. The rest doesn’t include Texas, OU, or OK St. Academically, Baylor offers more than the rest, as well. I’m sure they would love to piggy back on TX A&M into the SEC.

Tom

September 27th, 2011
11:29 am

I like the idea of adding Mizzou as the 14th team. Or to make 12 teams again, get rid of Arkansas.

Gordon

September 27th, 2011
11:29 am

I’m not sure Missouri even wants to come now that the Big 12 is holding together. The ACC’s move really changed Slive’s “16 teams in 15 minutes” scenario. I think the ACC members are holding out to see who the 15th and 16th teams there are. If they can land Notre Dame, Penn State will follow. If that happens I’m not sure FSU, GT, Clemson, or anyone would leave even if there were no exit fee.

The SEC should land a solid 14th team and stand pat. What about UCF?

SSIgator

September 27th, 2011
11:29 am

DawginLex -

A little sensitive today are we? Cheer up. Whenever UGA wins another football game you will feel much better.

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:29 am

@Gordon

You’re right. The most recent rule change wouldn’t allow Alabama and Auburn to continue their rivalry if Auburn moved to the East Division. I really don’t see the SEC adding Mizzou anyway. I suspect that they would prefer to add an additional Eastern school.

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2011
11:29 am

“I say, lets play 2!!! UGA vs UF in Atlanta and Jacksonville in 2012!!”

Works for me…..we could use the 2 “W’s”!!

Mike

September 27th, 2011
11:32 am

I would think that the best scenario is for everyone to treat Texas A&M as a rotational game. Stick them in the West, but that doesnt mean they will play all the West teams. Both the East and West teams will add the Aggies as one of their rotational opponents. It means the rotation will be stretched out and say UGA will not play LSU quite as often, but it preserves the current cross division rivalries. A&M’s conference record will count against the SEC West.

PigIron

September 27th, 2011
11:32 am

@Gordon

Why should the ACC limit themselves to PSU and ND?

They should just purchase the Falcons. Then maybe they could actually compete in football.

GTfan

September 27th, 2011
11:33 am

Richard.
Pitt and Syracuse were brought in mainly for basketball. I dont understand why FSU would want to move to the SEC. They are a cosntant contender in there division for the ACC championship every year and in a BCS AQ conference. I dont understand why they would want to give that up to move to the SEC where the competition even harder to get through. It is easier to get to a BCS game in the ACC than in the SEC. Being in the SEC wont have the same effect on recruiting that it will with Texas A&M because Florida already has that argument. Texas A&M moving to the SEC was a must for the schools recruiting because of the Longhorn network. They needed something to offer that Texas didn’t have (playing in the SEC). FSU doesnt have much to gain and has alot to lose

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2011
11:33 am

For a 14th team, my preferene would be for Mizzou.
I want nothing to do with the couch-burners from West F#*&ing Virginia!