Three SEC power coaches offer their opinion on future league scheduling


The main underlining theme of the SEC post-spring teleconference yesterday focused on the SEC moving from an eight-game schedule to a nine-game league schedule.

Currently the SEC has a 6-1-1 conference schedule, which means teams play the other six teams in their division, one permanent cross-divisional opponent and one cross-divisional opponent on a rotating basis.

Yesterday, nearly every coach was asked about the idea of moving to a nine-game conference slate, and Steve Spurrier, Les Miles and Nick Saban shared their opinions on the subject.

Steve Spurrier

“Tennessee’s got Alabama, who’s been the best team the last three or four years, and that’s not fair for Tennessee to have to play those guys every year. But I don’t know. Heck, that’s just sort of the way it is. The coaches … we don’t make the rules. We just try to coach our teams the best we can.

“Nobody said it’s supposed to be fair anyway. Have you ever heard any commissioner or anybody say it’s supposed to be fair? They’d make the recruiting rules more fair. Right now, it seems like the same team gets all the top players every year in recruiting. We just need to go play whoever they tell us to play and do the best we can, and things will work out hopefully.”

Spurrier basically said if the SEC wants to be ‘fair’, it would go away from permanent cross-divisional opponents.

Les Miles

“I wonder about the view of how the champion is decided in the finest collegiate football conference in America. 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.”

Miles suggested using computers as a way to randomly select more ‘fair’ cross-divisional foes. He certainly must not like playing Florida every year.

Nick Saban

“One basic theory I have is that every player should have the opportunity in his four-year career to play every SEC school, and if we don’t at least have a two-team rotation that doesn’t really happen. One permanent opponent and one rotating means you’re going to play some of the other teams every six or seven years.”

Saban has voiced this same opinion before, and keeping an eight-game schedule would mean eliminating the Tennessee rivalry. But if the league moves to a nine-game slate, the Tennessee-Bama rivalry game could stay intact.

And through all the talk and smoke, the voice of reason, Mike Slive, has been pretty mum on all ideas. He’s probably waiting on the broadcast revenue figures before he decides anything about moving from an eight to a nine-game schedule.

This will be the biggest topic on the agenda at the SEC Spring meetings.

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Nothing like seeing Miles and Spurrier whine about the current system. Then, the voice of reason – Nick Freaking Saban – stepping in and tell them how it is. Of course, both of Miles and Spurrier’s angst is pointed toward Alabama, though they never say ‘Alabama’.

    • It just sounds like Spurrier feels bad that Tenn. has to face Alabama every year and Miles wishes he got to play Kentucky once in a while instead of Florida. Nobody made it seem like Alabama got an unfair advantage from any of this. Until recentley Tenn. has been an SEC east power.

    • Where in that entire quote do you see spurrier whine about the system? Why would spurrier whine for a team he dislikes the most? He used a current example to make a point. Im shocked at your stance on this as a gator fan anyway. All ive read the past few months on this topic is how lsu and uf are sick of playing each other every year. Just like Carolina and Arkansas. Now you just sound like a whiney ignorant gator/bama fan. All three coaches quoted feel the same way on this topic and you find a way to spin it. On a lesser note I do agree with what Saban said.

      • People just want Bama to lose more, and it won’t happen playing Tennessee. LSU-Florida happens to be the best match up of all the east-west rivals.. So that means we should cancel it?? Times change. As a Georgia fan I love getting Auburn every year because right now their in the dumps. But even when their tough, I still enjoy facing off vs. an old rival. It’s tradition.

        I would vote 9 game schedule before I destroy the rivalries.

        • I think Bama vs Florida every year would be an appropriate change, don’t ya think? As for me, I don’t mind LSU playing Florida every year. It’s a good rivalry. But, Bama has the easiest schedule in the whole SEC. They play Tennessee and not Florida. I think that ought to change. Florida vs Bama has my vote; and, for them to play every year from now on.

    • Are you serious? It’s not about who is is playing, it’s about who Alabama isn’t playing. The schedules are terribly imbalanced. Throw in the ridiculous bridge schedule, and it appears the deck is clearly stacked in Alabama’s favor, not only by handing them the easiest schedule in the SEC, but also by giving their primary competition the hardest schedule.

      • Ditto, just like its been for some time now. Remember Bama couldn’t win an SEC championship following the advent of the SEC CG until their schedule got soft and Florida and LSU’s got really tough. Its obvious to unbiased fans

        • Hubertbarnes, you are right on. Bama’s schedule is the softest in all the SEC fosho!

        • LOL, man, thanks for the laugh. “…Bama couldn’t win an SEC championship following the advent of the SEC CG until…”

          That seems like an awfully dumb statement from a Florida fan considering Alabama won the very first SEC Championship Game… over Florida.

      • Samuel, I couldn’t agree with you more! Bama has, by far, the easiest schedule in the SEC! Maybe it’s because the SEC home office is in Alabama where they skew the schedule in Bama’s favor. It’s ashame they go to that extent to help Bama. It’s really pathetic too! Bama should have to play Florida every year; and, they give Bama a patsy like Tennessee to play. lol

        • That’s a good one too. “They give Bama a patsy like Tennessee to play.”
          Let’s look at that statement using what I like to call “intelligence”.
          LSU’s record vs. Florida: 25-31-3
          LSU’s record vs. the Vols: 9-20-3

          So let’s get this straight: a team that LSU has a history of competing with is a tough game, but one who’s historically beat the crap out of LSU is a patsy?

    • So lemme get this straight. Spurrier is “whining” in an attempt to get a system that will have his team playing Alabama and LSU more often???

      You are just sore that nobody cares what your coach thinks.

    • I would say you must be a little biased SOB toward Florida. I think Florida should have to play both LSU and Bama every year. That would be fair, don’t ya think? You don’t mind seeing your arch rival have to play Bama every year. But, when the shoe is on the other foot, don’t you think, Florida should play Bama, not Tennessee?

  • Scargamecocks87 little stevie Spurrier always wines!!!

  • LSU could realistically end up beating Bama and A&M this and still not end up playing in the SEC Championship game.

  • LSU has no rivalries. Neither does Arkansas. They do not understand the importance of Auburn vs. Georgia or Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt or Alabama vs. Auburn or Alabama vs. Tennessee on the Third Saturday of October. Heck, they don’t even understand South Carolina vs. Clemson. OH! Did I say “Clemson”. My bad. Stop the crying, Miles!

    • Pharoh, you’re smoking cheese and it’s making you into the idiot you obviously are! LMAO

    • I’m right there with you Pharoh! These teams that don’t have classic rivalries such as Alabama vs. Tennessee on the Third Saturday of October just don’t get it. Tennessee doesn’t care that we play Alabama every year. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Its called Tradition and its what makes the SEC the best conference to watch in America.

  • I say keep the 8 game sec schedule and implement the rotation Saban suggested. We do enough beating up on each other as it is. Instead of playing the same cross conference team every year which seems to have lost its appeal for the most part…force each school to schedule 2 out of conference FBS Teams every year. Possibly even create some cross-conference Rivalries. Could you imagine Texas/Bama? UGA/Notre Dame? USC/USC jr? haha

  • This is crap. Most of the comments on here are referring as to who Alabama is not playing. “Easy schedule..easy path…blah blah”. While that may be for this season, NO ONE is remembering how Alabama had to play six teams with bye-weeks prior to playing them in 2010. SIX. With that said, the argument/talk that the league office looking out for Alabama is completely null-in-void.

    • Agreed…you can only work a schedule in your favor to a certain extent. And you can’t work an sec schedule at all. It is what it is and I try not to even get into the dumb S.O.S. arguments. What looks like an easy schedule now can turn very difficult by October and vise versa.

      • Exactly! Smartest comment on this board haha. On an unrelated note, my money is on another Bama and UGA SEC Champ. game. Last years was such a good game!

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