Why a Big 12-SEC Scheduling Alliance Doesn't Work
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The SEC and the Big 12 have reportedly been in talks about possibly initiating a scheduling alliance that would see more of the two conferences' teams play each other during the regular season. From AL.com:
[SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark] Womack said a challenge series with another conference would be difficult because most SEC schools need seven home games and some teams play traditional rivals in nonconference games.
"The only advantage I think you find is you have an opportunity to create a nonconference schedule that could be attractive," Womack said. "But there would be a lot of issues on how you would play that out as it relates to the issues you face with your existing schedule."
Oh, this is going to be fun. Let's tick off the reasons why this won't work, shall we?
First of all, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky all have nonconference rivalry games with BCS teams, so count them out of adding a second BCS team to their nonconference schedule. That's just not the SEC way, folks.
That leaves LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M and Tennessee (sort of) as the remaining big guns.
LSU would rather play mid-tier Pac-12 teams like Washington and it doesn't really need a Big 12 foe to garner respect. Neither does Alabama. Texas A&M is a wait-and-see at this point and Tennessee hasn't done very well with BCS foes on a nonconference slate. For what it's worth, Tennessee has gone 1-4 against the last three Pac-12 teams it has played.
Which SEC and Big 12 teams would jump all over this idea? Probably Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Missouri. Are you excited yet?
Do you want to see more Big Ten vs. SEC games?
The second reason why this won't work is we are two years removed from having playoffs. Why would anyone agree to make its schedule more difficult? Right now, the Big 12 plays nine conference games as opposed to the SEC, which plays eight—why play 10 BCS teams and reduce your chances of making the playoffs when the SEC is only playing eight conference games (nine if it happens to play in the conference championship)?
Unless strength of schedule is part of determining who will make the playoffs—and you know it will even though the method of determining SOS will be just as messed up as it is right now—the Big 12 should be filling its nonconference slates with Nicholls State, et al.
The only conferences that would be helped by this sort of scheduling alliance are the Big Ten and the Big East. However, even then, if things remain at status quo, it would usually be a losing proposition for those two conferences.
Nice try guys, but the two top conferences in college football, the SEC and the Big 12, don't need a challenge series to boost up their respect among pollsters. Sure it would be nice to see an early September game between Oklahoma and Georgia, but we'll probably get Kansas versus Ole Miss instead.
I'd rather watch Alabama versus Virginia Tech on August 31.
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