FanPost

Fixing the SEC's Conference Schedule


<strong>Problem:</strong> With expansion in 2012 to 14 teams, there are now 7 annual games teams must play with only 1 open slot for the 6 teams in the other division to rotate in on. This means a home&home series takes 12 years. It won't feel like 1 conference. Players will miss 2 conference opponents in their 4-years on campus. 1x every 6 years isn't enough. This year's schedule was thrown together at the last minute. They're working on the permanent 2013+ schedule now.

<strong>Goal:</strong> Maintain important rivalries while increasing how often SEC schools play each other.

<strong>Step 1:</strong> Mike Slive writes a nicely-worded letter to the NCAA asking permission to continue having the SEC Championship Game without East & West divisions.

<strong>Step 2:</strong> The rule change puts all 14 teams in 1 pool & matches up #1 vs #2 in the conference championship.

<strong>Step 3:</strong> Each team is matched up with their top 5 rivals for annual games. For Bama, they'll get Auburn, Tenn, LSU, Ole Miss & Miss St every year.

<strong>Step 4:</strong> The other 8 teams are rotated through the remaining 3 conference game slots. This way Bama in our example will get to play Florida, Jawja, Sakerlina, Vandy, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mizzou & A&M 3x each every 8 years (3 games/yr for 8 years = 24 slots for 8 teams, 3x each). Fits evenly. A full cycle of 3 home games vs Florida & 3 away games vs Florida (6x total) will take 16 years. & repeat.

I listed out the 5 annual rivals for each team below. I also included the # of times the teams have met since the SEC's 1st conference game in 1933 until after this season 2012 for a total of 80 years, how far the campus' are apart & if there's a folksy nickname for the matchup. At the very bottom is the rivalries that didn't make the cut.

<strong>Florida:</strong>
1. Georgia - 79x, 350 mi - World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
2. Auburn - 71x, 315 mi
3. Sakerlina - 25x, 360 mi
4. Miss St - 51x, 530 mi
5. Kentucky - 59x, 710 mi

Game 9. FSU - 57x, 150 mi - The Governor's Cup
Game 10. Miami - 54x, 335 mi - Seminole War Canoe Trophy

Florida loses LSU (59), Vandy (46) & Tenn (36) but more importantly gets Auburn back. Plus Miss St.

<strong>Auburn:</strong>
1. Bama - 65x, 160 mi - Iron Bowl
2. Georgia - 79x, 170 mi - The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry
3. Florida - 71x, 315 mi
4. Miss St - 73x, 245 mi
5. A&M - 2x, 750 mi

Game 9. Ga Tech (56x, 110 mi), Clemson (24x, 230 mi) & FSU (18x, 205 mi) play each 2x every 6 yrs

Auburn loses the Tiger Bowl vs LSU (38) & still can't play Tenn (49) every year but gets Florida back, keeps a game in neighbor state Miss & takes 1 for team playing newcomer A&M.

<strong>Georgia:</strong>
1. Florida - 79x, 350 mi - World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
2. Auburn - 79x, 170 mi - The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry
3. Sakerlina - 55x, 160 mi - The Border Bash
4. Tenn - 31x, 230 mi
5. Kentucky - 66x, 400mi

Game 9. Ga Tech - 80x, 70 mi - Clean, Old Fashioned Hate
Game 10. Clemson - 37x, 75 mi (play 2x every 6 yrs)

Georgia maintains it's 5 East rivals except for Vandy (58x) & continues ducking Bama (40x) & not playing Ole Miss (45x). Needs to play


<strong>South Carolina:</strong>
1. Georgia - 55x, 160 mi - The Border Bash
2. Tenn - 27x, 260 mi - The Halloween Game
3. Florida - 25x, 360 mi
4. Mizzou - 3x, 870 mi
5. A&M - 0x, 1,070 mi

Game 9. Clemson - 80x, 130 mi - Palmetto Bowl
Game 10. NC State (41x), UNC (37x) & Virginia (25x) play each 2x every 6 yrs

As a newcomer w/ less history in the SEC, they must play Mizzou in the new Columbia Capitol Cup & A&M.

<strong>Tennessee:</strong>
1. Bama - 79x, 170 mi - 3rd Saturday in October
2. Kentucky - 80x, 170 mi - Battle for the Barrel
3. Vandy - 78x, 180 mi
4. Georgia - 31x, 230 mi
5. Sakerlina - 27x, 260 mi

Game 9. Ga Tech (35x), UNC (21x) & Va Tech (4x) play each 2x every 6 yrs
Game 10. Clemson - 5x, 190 mi (play 2x every 6 yrs)

Florida (37x) falls off. Tenn is used to playing West division teams pre-92 so that's okay. Ole Miss (55x) & Auburn (49x) stay off the annual schedule.

<strong>Kentucky:</strong>
1. Tenn - 80x, 170 mi - Battle for the Barrel
2. Vandy - 70x, 215 mi
3. Georgia - 66x, 400mi
4. Florida - 59x, 710 mi
5. Mizzou - 2x, 460 mi

Game 9. Louisville - 19x, 75 mi - Battle for the Governor's Cup
Game 10. Va Tech (16x) play 2x every 6 yrs

Kentucky has a small border w/ Mizzou so they add them. Still won't play Ole Miss (42x) or LSU (56x).

<strong>Vanderbilt:</strong>
1. Tenn - 78x, 180 mi
2. Kentucky - 70x, 215 mi
3. Ole Miss - 69x, 230 mi
4. Arkansas - 9x, 530 mi
5. Mizzou - 3x, 430 mi

Game 9. Wake (15x)
Game 10. Duke (11x) play 2x every 6 yrs

Vandy moves more north & west w/ it's annual schedule w/ the border they share w/ Arkansas & Mizzou. Vandy keeps ducking Bama (70x). Georgia (58x) & Florida (46x) fall off.

<strong>Missouri:</strong>
1. Arkansas - 4x, 290 mi
2. A&M - 13x, 775 mi
3. Vandy - 3x, 430 mi
4. Kentucky - 2x, 460 mi
5. Sakerlina - 3x, 870 mi

Game 9. Kansas - 79x, 165 mi - Border War
Game 10. K-State (79x), Iowa St (79x) & Nebraska (78x) play each 2x every 6 yrs

Rookie Mizzou gets its' 3 border startes, its' XII buddy & the new Columbia Capitol Cup.

<strong>Alabama:</strong>
1. Auburn - 65x, 160 mi - Iron Bowl
2. Tenn - 79x, 170 mi - 3rd Saturday in October
3. LSU - 61x, 350 mi - Saban Bowl
4. Miss St - 76x, 85 mi
5. Ole Miss - 41x, 160 mi

Bama won't play Vandy (70x) or Georgia (40x). Keep their 5 biggest rivals around them in the heart of SEC country.

<strong>Mississippi:</strong>
1. Miss St - 79x, 100 mi - Egg Bowl
2. LSU - 78x, 345 mi - Magnolia Bowl
3. Vandy- 69x, 230 mi
4. Arkansas - 53x, 380 mi
5. Bama - 41x, 160 mi

Ole Miss is in the middle of the new SEC & they keep the teams they want to play. They won't play Tenn (55x), Georgia (45x) or Kentucky (42x).

<strong>Mississippi State:</strong>
1. Ole Miss - 79x, 100 mi - Egg Bowl
2. Bama - 76x, 85 mi
3. Auburn - 73x, 245 mi
4. LSU - 79x, 300 mi
5. Florida - 51x, 530 mi

Miss St gets a brutal schedule but that's now new for them.

<strong>Louisiana State:</strong>
1. Bama - 61x, 350 mi - Saban Bowl
2. A&M - 39x, 340 mi
3. Arkansas - 31x, 540 mi - The Battle for the Golden Boot
4. Miss St - 79x, 300 mi
5. Ole Miss - 78x, 345 mi - Magnolia Bowl

Game 9. Tulane (68x) & Rice (50x) play each every-other year

Drops Florida (59x) & the Tiger Bowl vs Auburn (38x). Won't matchup w/ Kentucky (56x).

<strong>Arkansas:</strong>
1. A&M - 62x, 475 mi - The Southwest Classic
2. LSU - 31x, 540 mi - The Battle for the Golden Boot
3. Ole Miss - 53x, 380 mi
4. Vandy - 9x, 530 mi
5. Mizzou - 4x, 290 mi

Game 9. Texas - 63x, 530 mi - The Big Shootout
Game 10. TCU (59x), Baylor (57x) & Texas Tech (35x) play each 2x every 6 yrs
Game 11. SMU (65x), Tulsa (61x) & Rice (59x) play each 2x every 6 yrs

Arkansas's schedule is about as southwest as the Southeastern Conference gets. Miss St is a little west of Vandy.

<strong>Texas A&M:</strong>
1. Arkansas - 62x, 475 mi - The Southwest Classic
2. LSU - 39x, 340 mi
3. Mizzou - 13x, 775 mi
4. Auburn - 2x, 750 mi
5. Sakerlina - 0x, 1,070 mi

Game 9. Texas - 79x, 110 mi - Lone Star Showdown
Game 10. Baylor (77x), Texas Tech (68x) & TCU (64x) play each 2x every 6 yrs
Game 11. SMU (64x), Rice (63x) & Houston (34x) play each 2x every 6 yrs

A&M gets the 3 teams it wants to play & Auburn/Sakerlina have to start an annual game w/ them. Sakerlina would have anyway.

<strong>Non-Annual Rivalries, # of times played in the past 80 years:</strong>
70 - Bama-Vandy (pre-92)
59 - Florida-LSU (dropped)
58 - UGA-Vandy (dropped)
56 - LSU-Kentucky (pre-92)
55 - Tenn-Ole Miss (pre-92)
49 - Tenn-Auburn (pre-92)
46 - Florida-Vandy (dropped)
45 - UGA-Ole Miss (pre-92)
42 - Ole Miss-Kentucky (dropped)
40 - Bama-UGA (pre-92)
38 - LSU-Auburn (dropped)
37 - Florida-Tenn (dropped)

<strong>Thoughts?:</strong> What do you think? Is playing 5 teams annually instead of 7 / playing the other teams 6x every 16 yrs instead of 6x every 36 years better? Do you like potentially matching up #1 LSU & #2 Bama in the SEC Championship Game? Or do you think an undeserving team that gets the lucky schedule w/o a Bama or LSU would make it instead?

A FanPost gives the opinion of the fan who writes it and that fan only. That doesn't give the opinion more or less weight than any other opinion on this blog, but the post does not necessarily reflect the view of TSK's writers.

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