After a lot of debate about going to a nine game schedule or axing the current cross-divisional rivalries, the SEC decided to stay status quo for the current time. Mike Slive said that the existing strength of the SEC was a factor in the decision to stay at eight games instead of moving to nine, which many thought they would due to the forthcoming SEC Network.
The cross-divisional rivals are:
Texas A&M/South Carolina
Obviously, some of these rivalry games are tougher than others and LSU AD Joe Alleva isn’t too happy with the decision to keep the cross-divisional rivalries. Here’s what he had to say…
That is a competitive disadvantage…..I’m disappointed in the fact that the leadership of our conference doesn’t understand the competitive advantage permanent partners give to certain institutions. I tried to bring that up very strongly at the meeting today. In our league we share the money and expenses equally but we don’t share our opponents equally.
If I’m Ole Miss and I’m playing Vanderbilt, I’ll vote to play Vanderbilt. If I’m Mississippi State and I’m playing Kentucky, I’m going to vote to play Kentucky. People voted their own self interest instead of what is in the best interest of competitive balance.
I understand Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia for the history, but that’s only four schools. The rest were voting in their own self-interest. They could have kept those games and the rest of us rotated. That was brought up but voted down.
I’m not pushing for the self-interest of LSU. I’m pushing for the equity.
Another interesting note is that the schools will now play at least one team from another of the “power” conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac 12) beginning in 2016. Looking at the 2014 schedules, teams currently scheduling this way are….
Alabama (WVU), Arkansas (Texas Tech), Auburn (Kansas State), Florida (FSU), Georgia (Clemson, Georgia Tech), Kentucky (Louisville), LSU (Wisconsin), Missouri (Indiana), South Carolina (Clemson), Tennessee (Oklahoma)
This leaves only Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vandy as the teams that are not scheduling at least one “power” conference opponent this season so this new addition won’t really make that big of a deal in the conference if 2/3 of the conference is already scheduling this way.
For now, the SEC will stay status quo in terms of scheduling but I’m sure they will re-visit it down the line.