Will the SEC ever move to a nine-game conference schedule? Paul Finebaum weighs in
The question is posed every single year: will the SEC move to a nine-game conference schedule?
Currently, the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 all play nine-game conference schedules, while the SEC and ACC have chosen a different path. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has basically been the only outspoken coach who would prefer to change to a nine-game schedule, but no one else is really standing with Saban on this one.
SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum doesn’t think it will happen, though, and he weighed in on WJOX 94.5 FM Monday morning.
“Outside of Nick Saban’s office, there is none,” Finebaum said of support for a nine-game schedule. “I don’t see it. There are a lot of reasons for it. I think from their standpoint they are very concerned it would create more difficulty filling the bowl alignment, in terms of the number of SEC schools that go to bowl games. So, when you add another game, do the math: it’s another loss somewhere. I think the feeling at least of the coaches right now is they don’t want that. I think it’s easy to look at the other side, and frankly, I’ve always agreed with Nick Saban that nine conference games offer many positive things, especially for athletes playing to be able to see other teams in the league. Right now, you can go seven, eight or nine years and never see anyone else (cross-divisional teams) outside of the SEC Championship Game.
“I also think it creates a degree of negativity outside the league,” Finebaum continued. “David Shaw from Stanford made a big deal about this a couple of years ago. The Big Ten continues to take shots. And I think the SEC leaves itself vulnerable by only having eight conference games.”
The noise outside the conference won’t affect the decision making; what will, however, is when the SEC starts getting penalized for playing just eight conference games, but there certainly aren’t many — if any — scenarios that would even be possible in that situation.
You can listen to Finebaum’s full segment below:
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— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) June 18, 2018