The SEC is apparently looking at big cross division match ups for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. These are the schedules that they are trying to finalize before they set things long term. As we know the discussion of nine games along with the SEC network and the new college football playoff will all influence scheduling beyond 2015. In the meantime we are looking squarely at the likelihood of Florida/Alabama and Georgia/Texas A&M in the future. It has been reported that the Gators could make a return trip to Tuscaloosa next season. Florida has not had much success there recently and this game will have some fuel for the fire with the comments this summer by Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis. If this is accurate the Gators would play at Alabama and LSU from the west along with (Jacksonville) Georgia, South Carolina and at FSU.
There are quite a few games that all of us would like to see go away this season, for example:
- Coastal Carolina at South Carolina
- Austin Peay at Tennessee
- Chattanooga at Alabama
- Samford at Arkansas
- Western Carolina at Auburn
- Furman at LSU
- SE Missouri State at Ole Miss
- Alcorn State at Mississippi St.
- Sam Houston State at Texas A&M
- Austin Peay at Vanderbilt
- Georgia Southern at Florida
- Chattanooga at Georgia
- Murray State at Missouri
- Alabama St. at Kentucky
The problem with replacing these games with FBS teams is that most schools now want a return date. That was not always the case back in the day, but as more programs move to the FBS level the more “two for one contracts” we have seen. This is very difficult on SEC teams and I am not sure we have seen any two for one agreements with league schools. The Big Ten is phasing out the FCS altogether by playing nine conference games. They have an equitable FBS partner in Mid-American Conference. I would suggest the SEC partner with a league like the Sun Belt, so that they can work the schedules out in advance. While the Sun Belt still won’t fill up the stadium to capacity they do have some good programs and would provide close proximity to the league.
Here is a formula that can work for everyone
SEC - 9 Games
Vs. Sun Belt - 1 game
BCS leagues (ACC/Big 12) - 2 games
Other option - AAC "the old Big East"
This and That...
- Mississippi State received scholarship reductions and probation for a booster's involvement in the recruitment of defensive back Will Redmond. An assistant coach was knowingly involved and is no longer with the program and the Bulldogs will not receive a postseason ban. The NCAA took 18 months to resolve this which in my opinion is too long. They have to be able to gather information with the help of the school and make quicker decisions. I think there is too much red tape with the process and can be rectified much quicker.
- If the NCAA goes to a four tier penalty enforcement then good for them. This also should be easy to impose in a quicker manner and would hopefully deter the schools from committing infractions. I also think the rule book is too complicated which bogs down the process. It's very simple just do what’s right. No money, cars, grade changing or extra benefit like computers, plane tickets, etc. Rules like not using University water to wash your car are ridiculous.
- Marlin Lane is back working out with the Tennessee football program. He was reinstated after missing the end of spring practice and is without a doubt the most explosive runner for the Volunteers. I think he may have a better idea of what new coach Butch Jones expects from him.
- Lots of discussion and anticipation for the month of September in the SEC with the opening weekend match ups. There is also plenty of attention given to the September 14th “Game of the Century” with Texas A&M versus Alabama. Don’t forget about September 7th in the league which shapes up to be nice weekend. Georgia and South Carolina do battle in Athens while Florida goes out of conference to Miami to face the talented Hurricanes.