All the talk today on the SEC coaches’ post-spring teleconference mostly centered on the conference moving from an eight-game league schedule to a nine-game schedule.
And with the ever-quotable Les Miles, two things were evident today: 1. He’s tired of playing Florida as their permanent cross-divisional rival and 2. He suggested using a computer to randomly select cross-divisional opponents.
“It’s interesting to see how you would compare our schedule with others,” Miles said on the SEC coaches’ post-spring teleconference. “I wonder if there should be no permanent partners. I wonder if we couldn’t choose cross-division opponents through a random computer draw.”
One of the exact reasons college football is moving away from the BCS is the much-maligned computer aspect as a primary selection method. So, his request is sure to fall on deaf ears and be ignored.
Is Miles way off on his thinking? Absolutely not. In fact, permanent cross-divisional rivalries aren’t exactly fair, are they? After all, LSU plays Florida, while Alabama plays Tennessee. That’s what Miles was getting at, although he never mentioned Alabama. The ebbs and flows of college football has Bama coming out looking brighter by playing Tennessee.
But permanent cross-divisional rivalries do serve a purpose. They preserved two of the longest-standing traditional rivalries in the SEC: Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn.
Look at the following chart to see why Miles has a right to have a beef with playing Florida every year – albeit Will Muschamp hasn’t complained once about it.
The Tigers play both Georgia and Florida in 2013, with Georgia being on the front-end of a two-year rotation and an away game to boot. That very well could be the two best teams in the East.
But it’s looking more and more like the new SEC Network will force the league’s hand at moving to a nine-game conference schedule.
You can bet the nine-game schedule will be the most important topic at the SEC Spring Meetings.
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