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Scheduling headaches with 13 teams

PG stands for Pickin' Game

Now that Texas A&M is in the fold and it doesn’t look like there is going to be another team added, at least in the short term. The good folks at the SEC have been diligently working to map out a football schedule for the next season. All the while, the even better folks at Mr SEC have laid out this little tutorial describing the immense chore that this process is. It’s a pretty involved article, so let me hit the highlights for you.

– As a disclaimer, at this point all of this is simply conjecture; however, there are only a few ways this process can be done so we have to assume that it’ll be close to what eventually ends up happening.

– With 13 teams and A&M most likely joining the West, the schedules of UK and the teams in the East won’t change from how they’re currently done.

– In the West though, instead of having each team play the six other teams in the division and then two cross divisional opponents, three teams will avoid playing one team in the West each year so each East team can fill their eight game conference slate and get three cross divisional opponents.

Normally, this would make conference championship games invalid because the NCAA defines the guidelines for a championship game as involving each team playing a round robin style format, which would be impossible with the West teams who don’t play each season.

– However, the MAC has played with the format in the past and the NCAA gave them a pass, which the SEC would surely receive as well.

– The problem with totally copying the MAC format, though, is the devaluing of cross divisional conference games. In the MAC, the only games that are recognized in determining each division’s representative in the championship game are those games against teams in their division. Imagine a LSU-Florida game carrying the same weight as a non-conference match up. That wouldn’t fly in the SEC.

– All current East-West rivalries would most likely stay intact: Alabama-Tennessee, Arkansas-South Carolina, Auburn-Georgia, Florida-LSU, Kentucky-Mississippi State, Ole Miss-Vanderbilt.

For Kentucky, this scheduling system should be beneficial. The less games that LSU and Alabama have to play against the East, the more likely it’ll be that we can avoid them. Already, Mr. SEC has predicted the LSU-Kentucky game as one coming off the schedule next season. As excited as everyone currently is to have Texas A&M they’re destined to be the Jan Brady in SEC expansion, because it shouldn’t be long before the SEC is adding a new team to get excited about.

Article written by Matthew Hays

14 Comments for Scheduling headaches with 13 teams



  1. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    3:09 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Careful with the “MAC exception” assumption. The NCAA has made it very clear that they are not bound by precedent when making decisions….



  2. RidgeRunner
    3:12 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Next to last paragragph… Who identifies the game examples you have as “rivalries”? Or am I thinking the word rivalry means something else? I don’ get that.

    So much work here for 13 teams when you would think the effort would be spent courting a 14th team that is enevitable anyway, and then schedule the hell out of it.

    Oh well….logic sux I reckon.



  3. RidgeRunner
    3:17 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Just to clarify my #2 rivalry-thing…

    Yes, the games you list are in some eyes rivalry-oriented, but I don’t see that those games are such a rivalry that they would out distance any other East-West matchup. Ya know? Not like it’s a UK-UT or Ala-Aub matchup that is in another stratosphere.



  4. comon son
    3:21 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Hood is a bitch.
    Hood if you are reading this, your a bitch



  5. SexnNursinHomes
    3:22 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    This they should do it. You take 13 teams divide them into 4 little mini conferences under the SEC. You then take the 1 team out and have them play a seeded team from one of the 4 mini conferences. Then, the winners of each of the mini conferences are then split into 8 littler mini mini conferences. Once all the teams have played. You then take seeds 1 through 13 and make it a triple elimination tourney. Once the winner of from those 8 mini mini conferences is recognized, they go on to represent the SEC in the championship team with the original 13th team that was in the original mini 4 conference. damn that was easy.



  6. GummyBear
    3:33 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    2.. Those “rivalries” are defined as the one team from the other division that you play every year. UK plays MSU every year and rotates two of the other five. Every team has their own MSU match and that is all he was referring to as East-West rivalries.



  7. Al's IndiCats
    4:20 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    LMAO….I’m getting a headache!



  8. RUPPS_rhetoric
    4:27 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    There will be 14 teams… BANK ON IT!



  9. Walsh is Gay
    4:34 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    #6 And thank god we lucked out and locked down on the MSU “rivalry.” Otherwise we might NEVER go to bowl games.



  10. BravoBigBlue
    4:42 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t schedule any SEC games for the Cats. Then they might get to 6 wins AND the SEC won’t have to worry about the odd number of teams. Problem solved. Getting enough wins for a bowl game is all that matters, right? Worked for Brooks. Keep up the good work, Mitch. What a joke!



  11. RidgeRunner
    6:10 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    6…Thank you for explaining it. I had heard of rivalrie in another sense obviously and I had known we play MSU every year but did not make the connection of the two.



  12. Skeps
    8:09 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    I thought they were doing away with divisions next year.



  13. Sean
    12:13 am September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Auburn v Georgia is a huge rivalry. So is Alabama and UT



  14. RealTalk
    2:42 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    GO CATS! BOO AGGIES!