When you have the best conference in America, more is better.
That's why the SEC stumbled when it balked at adding a ninth conference game to the football schedule last week at the spring meetings.
The league that has assembled an incredible streak of six consecutive BCS championships is expanding from 12 to 14 teams. The schedule is standing pat.
The result: a watered-down experience for the nation's most passionate fans.
With 13 potential opponents and only eight games, the math isn't good. Neither is the national perception.
The SEC makes a lot of noise about being the biggest, baddest kid on the college football block. And it is.
So why not get in step with the other leagues that play big-boy football?
The Atlantic Coast Conference is expanding from 12 to 14 teams and adding a ninth league games when Syracuse and Pitt arrive.
The Big 12, a misnamed 10-team operation, plays a nine-game, true round-robin schedule.
The equally misnamed Big Ten planned to expand from eight to nine games as a 12-team league but came up with an interesting alternative. By 2017, each member will play an annual game against a team from its Rose Bowl BFF, the Pac 12.
The Pac 12 already plays nine league games.
What the Big East does or will do is irrelevant.
The expanded SEC will stand at eight, thank you.
The familiar defense from the coaches and most of the ADs doesn't wash, that the SEC is so brutal another game would decrease the chances of winning a national title. Better to spend an afternoon grinding Western Kentucky into sawdust.
I recall a similar protest in 1992 when the league expanded to 12 teams, added an eighth regular-season game and, horrors, tacked on a championship game.
What followed instead was three national titles in the 1990s and seven more since 2003.
Here's what adding a ninth game would have accomplished:
One less irrelevant romp to sit through.
Whom would you rather open your billfold to watch play in Neyland Stadium, Auburn or Akron? Texas A&M or Troy?
Nothing wrong with an occasional frolic with the Sun Belt or Conference USA. You can't play Notre Dame ever week.
But the SEC has scheduled 15 FCS (Division I-AA) opponents for 2012, more than any other BCS league. The Big Ten will play only six.
A stronger inventory for TV. Which game do you want to watch on your flat screen, Florida-Arkansas or Florida-Central Arkansas?
If an SEC network comes to fruition, it should be a motivator for change.
Maintaining traditional ties.
Alabama stays an annual opponent for Tennessee, but the rest of the West will become virtual strangers.
Instead of playing LSU every four years, it will be every six years. In theory, it could be 2029 before the Vols play their first SEC game at Texas A&M.
I understand the attachment to the UT-Alabama tradition. But isn't playing your fellow conference members on something approaching a regular basis a tradition, too? It used to be.
Let's play nine. It's the right thing for the best league to do.