ATHENS – When asked about Georgia’s future schedules in the wake of SEC expansion, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity deferred Monday to that well-known football scheduling expert of “Hogan’s Heroes” fame.
“What was it that Sgt. Schultz used to say? ‘I know nothing,” McGarity said in a fake German accent.
Lame jokes aside, McGarity was telling the truth. He said the SEC’s 12 current ADs met two weeks ago to discuss future schedules, but that all those scenarios involved a 13-team league. After Sunday’s news that Missouri has officially joined the league, the SEC will be a 14-team conference starting next season. Texas A&M agreed in September to join the SEC.
“I really don’t know anything,” McGarity said Monday. “Two weeks ago all we saw were several different variations of a 13-team schedule, but we haven’t seen anything regarding 14 teams. The only thing we know is that Missouri is in the East. I guess that means that we play Missouri next year. But who knows where and who knows who our Western opponents will be? That’s what you just don’t know, because you can’t assume anything.”
McGarity said one thing about which he is sure is they won’t be expanding from eight to nine conference games. South Carolina President Harris Pastides was quoted earlier Monday saying that would be the case.
“No, no, no, I don’t know where that came from,” McGarity said. “That was in error. That has never been discussed. The model is an eight-game conference schedule. I do know that.”
One scenario floated on Monday was that Georgia, which was slated to pick up Alabama next season in Tuscaloosa, would get the Tigers in Columbia instead.
“Not necessarily so,” McGarity said. “We’ll have to play everybody in the East, so there’s six games there, then you play two Western opponents. One of those will have to be Auburn, we hope, just like Alabama hopes theirs will be Tennessee. So who knows?
“We just haven’t had any discussion yet on what our schedule will look like next year. But we have to know by the end of the month. We have to for logistical purposes.”
McGarity said preliminary word out of Birmingham is that they will meet again in two weeks to finalize future schedules. That day won’t come soon enough for him.
“We have to get moving on 2012,” McGarity said. “We’ve got printed materials, we’ve got season-ticket orders, hotels to reserve, we’ve got to move pretty quickly here. But that’s just part of the challenges that occur when you go through expansion this quickly.”
– Chip Towers