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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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