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What Would A 22 Game Season Mean?


While the most likely scenario moving forward with SEC scheduling remains a 16 or 18 game regular season, there are some coaches that have expressed an interest in looking at a 22 game regular season (namely Stansbury and Stallings.)  Calipari came out in opposition to the concept earlier today, and while he strayed away from totally discounting the idea, he did say “there’s a reason not many leagues play a 22 game regular season.” And he’s right, mainly because nobody wants to be forced to play at Auburn every year.  As far as I see it, there is one major up side and one major downside to the 22 game season, so let’s take a brief look at them.

Proponents of the 22 game season believe it is better for fans of the SEC.  As there are 12 teams in the SEC, this would force each team to play a home and home against every other team in the regular season conference play.  This would prevent a team with a more favorable schedule potentially beating out a team that had a tougher road in league standings at the end of the season.  It could also create some controversy over who deserved to win the regular season, and who deserved to get one of the four bye’s headed in to the SEC Tournament.

For instance, next season the schedules of the two divisions will remain but the standings will be done as one full league in 16 games.  This means that Alabama will have the opportunity to beat Auburn/Ole Miss/LSU twice and only have to face off against Kentucky/Vandy/Florida once, whereas Georgia will play Kentucky/Vandy/Florida twice and Auburn/Ole Miss/LSU once.  If they are fighting for the 4th and 5th place spots in the league, this has the potential to upset fans.

The biggest downside to the 22 game season from my perspective is how it affects the out of conference scheduling. As it currently stands with a 16 game SEC schedule, Kentucky normally plays between 14-16 out of conference games, giving them between 30-32 for the season.  The OOC schedule generally includes a pre-season tournament which will last 4 games in most every case, three rivalry games (UNC, IU, UL,) and the inclusion of the ‘Champions Classic’ at the beginning of the season puts us at 8 OOC games.  With a 22 game SEC season, we’re already looking at 30 games in the regular season, and that is with a brutal OOC with no down games.  This would likely result in dropping a rivalry game, as well as more careful tournament scheduling.  And I’m pretty sure I know how you feel about replacing the IU game with a home and home against Auburn.

So that’s how it is.  The teams in the middle of the SEC (Mississippi State for one) would likely benefit from a 22 game season.  However, if it comes at the expense of the more exciting out of conference games, I don’t see how anyone would support it.

Article written by Will Lentz

13 Comments for What Would A 22 Game Season Mean?

  1. kentuckygentleman
    8:17 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    Good points here. I mean really, how many out of conference rivals do Miss State and Vandy have? The only good and highlight games these teams play are in conference. Totally different scenario for the Cats.

  2. schwing
    8:17 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    drop the IU game. see what i care.

  3. mocha
    8:18 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    22 game schedule is for the birds.

  4. UK_Spunk
    8:20 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    I have no idea why this topic took so long to get talked about, since the idea of a 22 game season was given to us when we were told that the Divisions had been erased. I agree with everything said here. I think the best thing to do is actually a 17 game regular season where you play 5 teams twice home-home, 5 teams once, and then a rival game home-home every year. The 5 would swap every year, resulting in the previous year’s 2 game series being reduced to 1, then increased the following year and so on.

    The rivals (IMO) would be Auburn/Alabama, LSU/Arkansas, Mississippi/Miss St., Tennessee/Vandy, (then it gets not as obvious) Georgia/South Carolina, Florida/Kentucky.

    The reason I suggest the 17 is because 16 wouldn’t allow any rivals to consistently play twice every year without some sketchy scheduling, or keeping the divisions for scheduling which is why we would want to get away from them. While 18 games creates a non-symmetric flipping pattern on home-home series.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I like to know who I’m gonna play next year like in SEC Football and NFL Football, and easy scheduling rules allows for this.

  5. GoodGrief
    8:25 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    Good ole Joke Phillips just lost a recruit to uofl. Way to go Joker.

  6. serdi
    8:34 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t think we should play any more SEC games than we have to. We are great for the SEC but the SEC is not good for us and they do ABSOLUTELY nothing to help us. While the league takes care of their aircraft carriers on the football side, the same can not be said for the basketball side. Show me one thing in the history of the SEC that it has done to benefit, acknowledge, or promote Kentucky basketball.

  7. Soupdog
    9:31 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    Folks, there is one thing that I have not seen and I believe you have to consider. There are some in the SEC circles (AD’s and President’s) that would want a 22 game schedule. That would allow each SEC to have a home game with Kentucky. That would mean a sellout at least once a year and not every two years in the case of the west. So while UK and many coaches may be against it, it could still pass because SEC AD’s know they need as much help as possible to sell seats to their basketball arenas.

  8. kentuckyfan
    9:43 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    It is dumb enough that we have 12 teams in the conference to begin with. 10 is the proper number. let’s dump Arkansas and Vandy and get back to a reasonable number so we can play an 18 game schedule with room to play some out of conference teams.

  9. wailupebob
    10:52 pm June 27, 2011 Permalink

    I think UK would be the only team that would not want more SEC games. UK, alone, wants more OOC gmes because
    most are home games with 24,000 attendance. Florida, Vandy, Georgia, USC and UT would want more games
    against the SEC West and most of the SEC West teams would want home games with UK, Florida, Vandy and
    UT(maybe not next year). I would not be surprised if SEc goes to 22 games per year.

  10. Buckets
    8:07 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    No way I’d want to see 22 SEC games. No more than 18. No way. Change sucks, period. They should have left it alone.

  11. timer
    9:44 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    This is all about getting a home game with Kentucky every year.

  12. nashvillecatsfan
    9:59 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    #8 – Why Arkansas and Vandy? Arkansas won a national championship in the 90s and Vandy is consistently pretty good in basketball.

    Also, if they aren’t going to do a 22 game schedule (or 11), they should have kept the divisions.

  13. kymatt
    12:51 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    #7 has it right — it stands to benefit every other school in the SEC infinitely more than UK (and to a certain extent, FL.)
    Maybe more motivation for the “Super 64 / 72” concept?