Former Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton — the chairman of the SEC’s transition committee — says the “least-disruptive” schedule plan for 2012′s football schedule involves Texas A&M playing four SEC West and four SEC East opponents.
Templeton told Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News that the 4×4 model “would cause the fewest headaches, particularly since every SEC team’s nonconference schedules is set” (in Solomon’s words). Here’s what Templeton said of the plan:
“If A&M plays four in one division and four in another, there are probably eight different schedules that could come together off that. As a former AD, I would prefer the least-disruptive schedule that’s as competitively balanced as possible for one year, know that everybody has to sacrifice a little bit but that we’re fair to our new conference member. A&M has had as much say as any other school. They will be involved in how we determine the final concepts.”
Despite the fact that A&M could have a different type of schedule from the rest of its division mates, if the Aggies have the best record, they’ll be heading to Atlanta as division champ. The league wants A&M to be eligible for the SEC title immediately.
Templeton didn’t rule out a scenario in which each West Division foe would meet (6 games) and each East Division foe would play (5 games), but he said, “mathematically, I don’t think it can be done.”
It could, but it would require a complete re-working of the cross-divisional games. On that front, Templeton said the SEC is discussing options that might keep or eliminate every school’s cross-divisional permanent rivals for 2012.
Permanent non-divisional rivalries Auburn-Georgia, Tennessee-Alabama and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt are among the oldest rivalries in college football.
“Those are the issue we’ve got to decide,” Templeton told Solomon. “Right now, everybody’s permanent (foe) is on the 2012 schedule. Changing the (cross-division) rotation is a concept, but that’s not a preferable concept because it’s going to be very disruptive. Keep in mind, everything we’re doing is for one year.”
Many of the issues Templeton discussed with Solomon, were first mentioned on this site back on September 27th. You can read that piece here.
For that post we spoke with a high-ranking MAC official off the record because the MAC has been playing a 13-team schedule for five years.
We were told that the NCAA gave the MAC a waiver to hold a championship game even though it didn’t feature a round-robin schedule as the NCAA rulebook mandates. This week it was reported elsewhere that the MAC did not seek or receive a waiver, but MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said his league did indeed receive a waiver and got clearance to skirt the rule… just as we initially reported.
Our off-the-record source told us that the MAC’s 13-team schedule worked “so well that we went out and added another football member beginning next year.” That was the off-the-record comment. Steinbrecher — on the record — told Solomon: “I won’t say scheduling is the only reason (the league is adding UMass), but it certainly played a role.”
To avoid all this nonsense, the SEC needs to tell Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton to speed things up on his end. Otherwise, a 13-team schedule will become very, very troublesome for everyone.
And again, this is just about football. Scheduling other sports will be a royal pain, too.