SEC dilemma: Cross-divisional matchups create potential imbalances

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, and LSU head coach Les Miles greet each other before their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, and LSU head coach Les Miles greet each other before their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

CHATTANOOGA — Now that spring football is over at the 14 Southeastern Conference institutions, league coaches can debate what has become an annual spring topic: future scheduling.

Due to the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, the SEC employed a bridge schedule last season and will use one again for football this year. LSU coach Les Miles believes there is great imbalance with the league's current format of a school having to play all six teams within its division and a permanent foe and a rotating foe from the opposite division.

The Tigers reside in the SEC West and play Florida out of the East each year. LSU had South Carolina as its rotating foe last year and must travel to Georgia in September.

"I wonder about the view of how the champion is decided in the finest collegiate football conference in America," Miles said Wednesday without any prompting. "It's interesting to see how you would compare our schedule with others. I wonder if there should be no permanent partners. I wonder if a computer might pick a fairer schedule by random draw."

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Comments » 19

RedBoilingSpringsVol writes:

Welcome to our world Les.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to One_Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

After reading your post I understand why you are in the 1% minority. lol

RedBoilingSpringsVol writes:

in response to One_Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are either jeff flowers or, worse yet, a flowers wannabe. 1% must be your motility percentage little girl.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

If you are going to expand your conference to add more revenue via television markets, then SOMETHING has to change!

I'm all for continuing to play Alabama every year and look forward to the time when we match of even surpass the streak we began in the Manning era!...Then, the complaint was having to endure playing the VOLS!

And once again Coach Superior weighs in with a jab saying that "it's not fair for Tennessee" to play Alabama every year!...Since when is he so concerned for the VOLS?

The motto should be "Any team, any time, anywhere!" GBO!

SummittsCourt writes:

Times.. they are a-changin' Deal with it Les!

Since league expansion is pretty much done unless the league decides to add mid-major schools (highly doubtful) it's best to come up with scheduling that is ideal, but that might not be fair or equal to everyone. If you don't like it, leave or get better!

As a UT fan I welcome the challenge of playing one of the toughest schedules out there. Besides the SEC this year UT plays at Oregan and will play Oklahoma in the near future too. I'm tired of seeing Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and the like on their schedule.

Nut up or shut up!

mrtruvol#207043 writes:

Easy solution--16 teams; 4 divisions; 2 cross-divison; 2 floating

Snapshot writes:

in response to One_Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We already have jeffy-the-benchwarmer posting this same, tired drivel all the time. No need for you to rehash it for us. Surely you can be a little more original....or maybe you can't.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

Things come in cycles. It wasn't that long ago, the East ruled the conference. The championship was pretty much decided early in the year when UT played FL. Since then UGA and SC (even Vandy) have risen in the East while UT has slipped. In the West Bama has moved to the top of the heap with LSU, AU alternating who will challenge. Arky, MSU have both improved and OM was better last year. This cycle will change again for whatever reason. Fulmer benefitted greatly from SC, UGA, and LSU being down and getting many players from the respective states.

DarthVol writes:

Imo theres the sec and then everyone else. Youre either this conferences champion or just one of the other rabble of schools competing for the attention of the espn and the rest of the country. I get it coaches...that means you and your egos to.
Whatever.

"Play for blood. That's just my game."- doc holiday

AllforTenn writes:

The fair way to pick the east champ is to count only the record against other teams in the east and to select the west champ by counting only the record against teams in the west. It isn't fair to count the record against the teams in the other division due to the disparity of some east team not having Alabama or LSU as opponent while others do; likewise for west teams not having Florida, Georgia, etc. The present method depends upon how powerful your non-division teams are in a given year. Totally unfair.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to One_Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's over. Phil's gone. he's never coming back.

Now how long are you going to sit in your poopy diaper and whine? Isn't five years of wallowing in your own filth enough for you?

stevefrommemphis writes:

A cynic could argue that the Birmingham-based SEC headquarters has selected a 'bell-cow' and given that school the easiest possible conference schedule to try to get them into the conference and national championship games, to enhance conference revenues on the TV contracts. I can also think of other less flattering explanations.

I am completely in favor of going to a nine game conference schedule. Season ticket holders like myself get tired or paying $40+ apiece for tickets to 3 or 4 garbage games year after year. Play 6 in division, 1 permanent out of division, then have a yearly lottery to determine the last 2 opponents. Big 10 is going to 9 conference games. Any system of selecting matchups for a 9 game setup would be better than the current 8 game.

Keep complaining, Les Miles and LSU fans! Don't let up!

mrtruvol#207043 writes:

Alabama Central
Ole Miss Central
Auburn Central
Florida Central
North Carolina St. East
Va. Tech East
Georgia East
South Carolina East
Vandy North
Kentucky North
Tennessee North
Missouri North
Miss State West
Arkansas West
LSU West
T A&M West

LovinMyVols writes:

I would sooner give up my job than Tennessee Alabama every year.

Question to those who know these things: What would stop Tennessee and Alabama from signing an agreement to play a non-conference game every year they were not scheduled for a conference game?

It would lessen the game some for sure, but at least we would still have a chance every year to pull the tail on that bloated Pachyderm.

Hopefully they won't mess with the traditions that made the game great to start with.

CoverOrange writes:

Get rid of divisions just like basketball.
Choose 3 rivals.
Divide the rest in half and play one half in even years, the other in odd years.
Solved.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to mrtruvol#207043:

Alabama Central
Ole Miss Central
Auburn Central
Florida Central
North Carolina St. East
Va. Tech East
Georgia East
South Carolina East
Vandy North
Kentucky North
Tennessee North
Missouri North
Miss State West
Arkansas West
LSU West
T A&M West

LOL. No way the powers in Birmingham would put Tennessee in a division with Kentucky, Vandy, and Missouri. Instead, they would probably not hesitate to put Alabama in that division.

Orange_Beach writes:

in response to mrtruvol#207043:

Alabama Central
Ole Miss Central
Auburn Central
Florida Central
North Carolina St. East
Va. Tech East
Georgia East
South Carolina East
Vandy North
Kentucky North
Tennessee North
Missouri North
Miss State West
Arkansas West
LSU West
T A&M West

How about this

Tennessee
Troy
UAB
UTC

and we call it the PANSY DIVISION.

volposter writes:

in response to mrtruvol#207043:

Alabama Central
Ole Miss Central
Auburn Central
Florida Central
North Carolina St. East
Va. Tech East
Georgia East
South Carolina East
Vandy North
Kentucky North
Tennessee North
Missouri North
Miss State West
Arkansas West
LSU West
T A&M West

Interesting. I sort of like it if no better alternative comes up. Of coursre, you have to get VT and NCS to agree and those rumors has been just that for a long time. Also the NCAA woud have to agree to a SEC playoff with semifinals and finals. Not likely.

Going to a nine game SEC schedule and 3 non conference games still makes the most sense. The non SEC games are mostly junk games anyway. I, and I suspect, most TN, AL, GA and Aub fans would hate to loose the permanent game.

rtrchatt writes:

In 2010 Bama played 6 SEC teams that had their bye week before playing the CT. How fair and balanced was that schedule? Think anyone cared...
stop crying and play your schedule. LSWhooooo.

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