Paul Finebaum was among those hoping to see a 9-game SEC schedule when the league welcomes Texas and Oklahoma to the fold in 2024. Unfortunately, the league ultimately opted to remain at an 8-game model for next season, commissioner Greg Sankey confirmed during the annual spring meetings.

While that decision wasn’t a popular one among a number of people, Finebaum believes it is inaccurate to write obituaries for the 9-game model in the future. He explained the decision is an interim one for the SEC and expects the league to eventually adopt the 9-game schedule.

“It wasn’t a consensus for next year, and that’s what I think a lot of the pundits have misunderstood,” Finebaum explained during a radio appearance with McElroy and Cubelic in The Morning. “The obituaries that I keep reading in national websites and big-time writers is really short-sighted. This is a temporary decision, it’s an interim decision. It’s for next year… We’ll get (to 9 games), and I think we’ll get there in 2025.”

When it comes to why the SEC opted to remain at 8 games next season, Finebaum believes the decision simply boiled down to a lack of “total alignment” from the SEC and media partners. He credited Sankey for making the wise call to simply put a 9-game schedule on hold, but Finebaum also predicted this will be a one-year deal for the SEC before getting to a 9-game schedule in 2025.

“I don’t know all the mechanics and why it couldn’t happen next year. Some of the spin I think is a little overdone… I just think there wasn’t a total alignment,” said Finebaum. “I think that goes from the league to the media partners and I think Greg Sankey wisely said ‘Okay, if we’re not 100% behind this, let’s pause. Let’s get this thing off the ground next year… and we’ll figure it out very quickly.’ If this was a long-term decision I think all of us would be outraged, but this is a one-year deal as best as I can tell.”