It’s not often I defend the SEC, and when I do you can be sure it’s because I really agree with it. They’ve taken some criticism for sticking with an 8 game conference. Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution went so far as to call the SEC cowards. Why I ask?
Why should the SEC go to 8 games? What’s the reason? To satisfy ESPN? They already have their network coming. To satisfy fans needs for more compelling games? Yea right The fans never matter in decisions like this. To build their SOS? Seriously? The SEC fair or not is given the benefit of the doubt in every imaginable poll out there. That’s not likely to end.
The name of the game is to get into position to be in the four team playoff, big contract bowls, and the rest of the bowls. What’s the best way for the SEC to do that? It is to do exactly what they’ve been doing. You play 8 conference games, then have 3-4 winnable games and inflate your record. 6 wins becomes 7, 9 becomes 10, and 10 becomes 11…
The SEC understands the most likely way to knock themselves down the rankings is for more of their conference teams to play each. Why should South Carolina and Auburn play more often, when Auburn for example can schedule down, and not be punished for it? A 55-0 win over over State U, still looks better than 3 point loss to a conference foe.
Will the SOS component really factor heavily? I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I’m the SEC I’ll take my chances. The 1 game vs a power conference 5 opponent is stroke of brilliance by the SEC. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina already satisfy this requirement.
The SEC are the masters of scheduling. How many top 15 SEC teams, not traditional rivals, played a top 15 team in a true road game? There was Georgia at Clemson in 2013… and? Can someone tell me another in the last 5 years?
Schedule a reasonable brand name but beatable school, like West Virginia, Penn State, North Carolina, Washington and Virginia Tech as the SEC done in recent years, get tons of credit on their to an 10-2 or 11-1 season. It’s smart it works, why change it? I wouldn’t.
Now will the ACC go to 9 games. I’ve maintained to stay at 8 unless ESPN wants a 9th game. ESPN says 7 ACC ADs want a 9th conference game… and 3 don’t with 4 undecided. So it’s seems 9th conference may happen we will see.