What’s behind the SEC’s schedule decision and what does it

With the SEC broadening to 16 groups for the 2024 season, when Texas and Oklahoma officially sign up with the conference, there has actually been much argument over the schedule format, specifically whether to continue playing 8 league games or rather play nine.The league lastly decided at its spring meetings, sticking with an eight-game format for 2024 while keeping its alternatives open after that. The 2024 challengers will be released June 14. We asked our college football insiders to explain

the ramifications of the choice for the SEC and beyond, and to weigh in on the relocation, including their takes on who takes advantage of the decision and who gets harmed by it.Why 8 games rather of nine?Chris Low: Although SEC commissioner Greg Sankey

showed several times his choice was to play nine conference games, there wasn’t an agreement among the remainder of the schools. With the College Football Playoff broadening to 12 groups in 2024, there was concern amongst some concerning how playing a ninth SEC game could impact a two-loss or three-loss team’s chances of making the playoff. Likewise, Alabama wasn’t prepared to accept needing to play Auburn, LSU and Tennessee as its 3 permanent foes in a nine-game schedule. Some presidents cited concerns over player security with an extra conference game, while others in the SEC didn’t see the requirement to expand to nine games, specifically with the conference dominating the sport the way it has for the past twenty years. Simply put, “Why fix it if it ain’t broke.”Editor’s Picks 2 Related Another issue was that some schools said they would need to purchase their escape of nonconference games currently scheduled for the 2024 season

if a ninth SEC game were added. And let’s not forget possibly the major aspect: SEC schools wish to see rights holder ESPN begin more money for an extra conference game with Oklahoma and Texas joining the league in 2024, according to several sources within the conference.Which schools were pushing for 8 and which were pushing for nine?Low: Texas A&M was the school most strongly pushing to play 9 games. Florida, Georgia, LSU and Missouri also publicly preferred nine games, while some schools stayed on the fence

. Alabama’s Nick Saban had actually long been an advocate for playing nine games but wasn’t on board with the Tide having to play Auburn, LSU and Tennessee every year due to the fact that he felt that would create an unequal playing field if other groups’irreversible foes weren’t as strong. Kentucky and South Carolina were among the groups in favor of 8. Kentucky mentioned needing to currently play competing Louisville every year out of conference, and South Carolina’s concerns were similar. The Gamecocks face Clemson every year out of conference.What will cause the league to go to 9 games in 2025? Low: In short, more cash. If ESPN were to include additional income for a ninth game, it would be very challenging for schools to turn that down, according to numerous sources within the SEC.Also, waiting to see how the broadened CFP field looks in terms of gratifying strength of schedule might contribute. If schools see the selection committee prioritize quality wins over the variety of losses, that might assist push the nine-game conference schedule over the surface line.What are the next actions? Is a nine-game conference schedule inevitable?Low: Nothing like continuing to kick the can down the road, or as Sankey himself stated, continuing to circle the airport. Call it what you desire– a short-term schedule, a bridge schedule or a substitute schedule– but it’s quite clear the SEC is buying a little more time to browse its method to playing

nine conference games. Surely, by 2025, they can figure it out after Oklahoma and Texas have remained in the league for a season. Sankey does not do not have perseverance. It’s a huge part of what makes him such an efficient leader. Nine games are concerning the conference that has won 13 of the previous 17 championship games. We’ll all just have to wait a little while longer to see it happen.Who benefits the most with the choice to stay with eight conference games?Alex Scarborough: Even though fans would have benefited most with the nine-game conference schedule, the division-less format will still be a win for fans and players. It indicates they’ll get to see every SEC group two times throughout a four-year stretch– home and away. And with Texas and Oklahoma signing up with the league, that implies they will not need to wait as long as they would have in the past to visit Austin and Norman for the very first time.Low:

The eight-game schedule assists those teams that may be on the bubble when it comes to winning six games and qualifying for a bowl game. And in a 12-team playoff, the opportunities of the upper-tier groups having less losses are greater if they’re having to play eight conference games rather than nine. Also, those schools currently facing challenging nonconference games against in-state rivals( Florida vs. Florida State, South Carolina vs. Clemson and Kentucky vs. Louisville )are most likely much better off not having to play a ninth SEC game.Top stories of the week from Get unique access to countless premium articles a year from top writers. – MLB mock draft: Who will go No. 1?”- Can the Celtics afford to keep Brown?”- Ranking NFL offseasons from 1 to 32″More ESPN+content” Ryan McGee: The Group of 5. Open dates on SEC calendars imply, a minimum of in theory, possibilities for scheduling games with huge schools for the mid-majors wanting to beef up their CFP chances. How much better for Coastal Carolina, Boise State or the like to get the attention of the committee than to be able to point to Week 3 and say,” Hey, we went to

Auburn and had them on the ropes for 3 1/2 quarters!”Harry Lyles Jr.: The groups that had actually previous engagements locked in benefit the most with sticking
with eight in the meantime. Getting out of a few of those games doesn’t sound like an enjoyable proposition.As far as the bigger photo, I don’t think there’s

all that much to SEC teams getting docked by the CFP if they stick to eight games. Much to Sankey’s point, this has actually been the greatest league for a while now, and I do not think one fewer conference game is going to make any person feel much in a different way about the strength of the teams at the top. And even if that worry exists, there’s room to book games as required. We saw how quickly that can get done throughout

the pandemic.Who is harmed most by the decision?Scarborough: It isn’t exactly a favorable reflection on the SEC that the commissioner plainly prefers a nine-game conference schedule and he can’t get the votes. It might not be best

for each school on a private level, but it’s what’s finest for the league as an entire(and its fans), and that should have been enough to get it done now.McGee: I do not understand … accountants? I get the need for a level playing field/r ésumé amongst Power 5 conferences, however do we actually think that this will harm the SEC’s opportunities of making an expanded CFP?What would the impact be of not playing some of the league’s competition games every year?Low: A short-term schedule that calls for 8 conference games would likely still allow for long-standing competitions such as Auburn vs. Georgia and Alabama vs. Tennessee to be played without a break. But if an eight-game schedule is secured for a number of years, then we would not see Auburn and Georgia playing every year or Alabama and Tennessee every year, which would be a kick in the face to the rich history of the SEC.McGee: It ended up being a thing over the previous several years to start questioning the need of Tennessee-Alabama or other rivalry games due to the fact that they had become lopsided, however you can not enable yourself to become a detainee of the minute. A decade of oh-fer on one side of a match does not cancel

out a century-plus of games, nor does the hassle of having a

tough schedule because you’re a traditional program and the groups you play and have constantly played happen to be really great(sorry, Nick!). The SEC was constructed on history and regional competitions and the classics have to be protected. Duration. See: Tennessee-Bama last fall. When you get away from those, you escape what made you who you are. A lot unusual modification is unavoidable in the expansion/realignment/transfer portal age; it ought to be countered by digging a preemptive moat around what you can. Deep South’s Oldest Competition, Third Saturday in October, Earth’s Largest Outdoor Libation Soiree( because we can’t call it the cocktail party), Red River Competition, Clean Old Fashioned Hate, the Palmetto Bowl, any game with history and a real nickname, in-conference and cross-conference, requires to be taken care of. Any other strategy is abandoning the sport’s roots.Lyles: I think my elders have actually covered whatever here. The only thing I would include: These games assist form the material of society in this

part of the country, up there with spiritual and legal holidays. They are the games that keep everybody returning to college football, and we have actually seen how removing rivalries has gone in the past in other parts of the country. I would be stunned if the SEC went away from that in the long term.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.