Blog Entry

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Could the SEC take the plunge with a nine-game schedule in 2012? The league says no. But South Carolina president Harris Pastides says yes.

Pastides told the Carolina student newspaper the Daily Gamecock that the SEC had agreed to play a nine-game conference schedule as soon as next season, with each team playing the full six-team divisional round robin (as mandated by NCAA bylaws) and three cross-divisional games.

Since that would require each SEC team to drop a nonconference opponent from their schedule, Pastides said a plan had been put into place for the conference to reimburse schools for the costs of buying out that nonconference game. That same plan was also indepently reported by the Sporting News' Matt Hayes.

But if SEC public relations official, Charles Bloom is to be believed, a nine-game schedule would be news to the conference itself. Not long after the Pastidies interview went public, Bloom tweeted the following:

Not a lot of interpretative wiggle room in that statement, is there?

So: who's telling the truth? Speaking as fans of interesting, traditional cross-divisional games like Auburn-Tennessee or LSU-Georgia -- is anyone not? -- it would be nice if Pastides was; on an eight-game schedule, six divisional games and one protected crossover game means just one slot available for rotating through the other six cross-divisional opponents. Like the past two years' worth of meetings between Alabama and Florida? Sure hope so, because under the eight-game plan you won't see the Tide and Gators play again for 10 years.

But we're expecting that's the plan the SEC is adopting anyway. Nine games means one fewer nonconference game and one fewer revenue-generating home game every other year, and that's assuming you're talking about a team with four home games to start with; with Florida's annual home-and-home rivalry with Florida State and the neutral site game vs. Georgia, it's conceivable the Gators would play just five home games in a year. They won't go for that, and it's doubtful other SEC teams with important nonconference rivalries (Carolina vs. Clemson, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech) would either. Reports were rampant Monday morning that SEC A.D.'s and coaches were unilaterally opposed to a nine-game slate, and that's 100 percent what we would expect.

So until Mike Slive himself confirms that Pastides and the other presidents have strong-armed their schools into the nine-game plan, don't get your hopes up for it. The money says eight is better, and the money usually gets what it wants.

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:44 am

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

The two most powerful teams in the SEC and both have coaches from the B1G. 

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:34 am

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

This is why conferences larger than 12 just don't make sense.  The SEC had the Tiger (pardon the pun) by the Tail and they've tinkered with their formula.  The SEC may experience an income bump, but at what cost?  Bigger is not always better; but better is ALWAYS better.  Is the SEC better with this expansion, or just bigger?

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:16 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

sec will not  get rid of 4 non conf games for each team. there are 3 teams sitting at 4w and 5l. anyone think that kent as an example wants to drop w kent or jax st or central mich. when you have 28 games scheduled out of 48 that are teams ranked 100 or higher or fcs team dont think they are going to get rid of these games. no 1 they are easy wins and no 2 nearly all home games. tenn can give montana 500k and  sell 60000 toickets and get a win and keep a lot of cash. same with ga southern and ala. if they only sell half the stadium they still make a bundle and get an easy win. only conf i knowof that schedules 1 fcs per team. last year miss scheduled 2 fcs teams southeast la and no az.  easy money easy wins. they will not give up 4 non conf games imo

Since: Oct 24, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:27 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

And for generations before that UGA owned the Gators... what's your point?  Is the official slogan for Florida athletics state the following: "Florida - a winning tradition since 1990"?  Florida fans have the shortest memories out of anyone.  Keep in mind that UGA still has more wins this decade than Florida does.  Enjoy basking in your days with Spurrier and Urban... Muschump and Fat Charlie aint getting you anywhere anytime soon.  I love it, and you deserve it.

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:55 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

Man You gotta love some of these UGA fans.  Beat Florida by 4 points and all of a sudden they co-own the SEC along with Bama and LSU.  Dude get over yourself.  For the past 20 years or so the Gators have owned Your Dawgs, and untill Ya'll get rid of some of Your coaching staff I expect that trend to continue.   Cool

Since: Oct 24, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:14 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

Wow... Auburn and Florida are challengers now?  The way I see it, Auburn and Florida are both on the down swing.  Auburn will be held back by Bama, LSU, and Arkansas (unless they can manage to buy... er, recruit, another great QB).  Florida's problems are much deeper than a hurt John Brantley... but losing him after this year is going to sting... a lot.  So will losing Demps and Rainey when they both go to the NFL.  Word is that Spurrier is stepping down after this season, so I'd imagine UGA will have the East for at least the next couple of years.  Auburn got blasted by Arkansas, Clemson, and LSU... and are somehow ranked?  Don't worry, they won't be after UGA and Alabama paste them.  

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 6:29 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

So Tyler, you think UF and Auburn will both win more than not against LSU and Bama during the next 3-4 years?  Both are good programs, but now is not their time.  I am not a gambler, but you are talking about a fools bet.  LSU beat Auburn 45-10 this year, and you say they can challenge them easily?  Nice try, no cigar.

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:10 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

Scheduling---it will not matter.  LsU and alabama will be dominating the conference for years with Miles and Saban.  The rest of the teams are pretenders.
Arrogant presumption. At least two other teams can challenge them, easily -- Auburn and UF, and two others are certainly showing promise, Arkansas and South Carolina.

The former two will almost certainly be able to do it, as they have recent histories which they can use to build on even in a down year. And the latter two are certainly getting there -- Arkansas has a history of challenging regularly in the West, and, well, Spurrier can do more with less talent than just about any other coach in the college game. And now he's getting some decent talent.

I predict both AU and UF beat both LSU and UA more than one each in the next 3-4 years, and Arkansas and USC manage it against one or the other at least one time in that same time frame.

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:04 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

because under the eight-game plan you won't see the Tide and Gators play again for 10 years.
Well, except for the 2-3 games in the SEC title game.

It's only a coincidence that the East is so weak these days that it looks like the West throughout most of the 90s.

Unless Muschamp is a major disappointment, I'm sure UF will see UA on a regular basis, at least in years where they are good enough that both teams WANT to play each other.

Since: Nov 7, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:51 pm

Gamecock prez, SEC differ on 9-game schedule

In an 8-game schedule, teams will go an average of 6 years between games with non-rival interdivision teams, which means an average 12 years between games at each campus. That's way too long. Furthermore, I'm not so sure that the money is better in an 8-game conference schedule just because there are more overall home games. If you go to a 9-game conference schedule aren't you creating 7 more SEC matchups for your TV package? Isn't the value of LSU versus UGA much greater than the sum of LSU-Towson and UGA-Buffalo? And if I'm a UGA season ticketholder, I'll happily give up 2 home games against patsy opponents for 1 more SEC game, especially since that means I'll get to see Bama and LSU and A&M twice as often.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or