I posted how I think that the SEC made the right call maintaining the current 6-1-1 model. One day, the move to 9 conference games is inevitable. But for the time being, the important rivalry games of the Conference have been left intact.
Thank the Lord, I am not a Florida or LSU fan. So I might have a different perspective, but as fan of college football in general, I look forward to seeing these two teams square off each fall. Regardless of what LSU’s AD and coach would lead to you believe, LSU and Florida have played every year since 1971-21 years before it was “mandatory”. For 43 consecutive years these two teams have squared off, and recently it has been quite compelling more often than not. You always are going to get a hard fought, hard-hitting game.
It seems that the two biggest complainers of the unfairness of the schedule are South Carolina and LSU.
They are basically crying foul that others (ahem, Alabama and Georgia) have gotten better breaks.
Let’s compare the recent opponents from the other division under the 6-1-1 format.
Yes, in 2012 and 2013 LSU drew a pretty crappy straw by having to play South Carolina and Georgia while Alabama played Missouri and Kentucky. What LSU doesn’t remember is they had a 4th quarter lead over Alabama in 2012. Had they not allowed Alabama to score in the final seconds they would have won the West that season.
LSU also drew that same crappy Tennessee team they seem to loathe Alabama playing twice in the past 7 years in 2010 and 2011. Funny how Alabama drew the short straw in 2010 by getting South Carolina and Florida when LSU got Vandy and Tennessee.
Both Georgia and South Carolina have played LSU and Alabama equal number of times since 2007. Sure, in 2011, Georgia drew the Mississippi Schools while South Carolina played Arkansas (their normal opponent). But had the Gamecocks beaten Auburn, they would have gone to Atlanta. They choked. That is the same mediocre Auburn team that Georgia beat 45-7. And twice in the last 4 years, Auburn has made the BCS National Title game.
Georgia drew a Mississippi school in 2012 while the Gamecocks played LSU. But the next year the roles were reversed.
And Georgia’s annual opponent is Auburn, while the Gamecocks have had Arkansas and now are moving on to Texas A&M. Auburn has been awful the same number of times Arkansas has been good. Not that many times, in other words.
With conference expansion, that has seen some screwy quirks, like Georgia going to Auburn in consecutive years.
Using the example above, you get that random year when LSU was not as good, Georgia was down, Florida was down, South Carolina was good, Ole Miss was good, Arkansas was good, Auburn was up and down, etc.
It doesn’t really matter. It all evens out in the end.
I find it disingenuous that LSU will complain about the schedule, when they have managed to go 3-3 against Ole Miss the last six years. Or that South Carolina complains about Georgia’s schedule in 2012, but not when the Dawgs play LSU in 2013.
LSU played Oregon and West Virginia in 2011, and WON both. They didn’t seem to mind going out of their way to schedule tough opponents, and likewise Alabama scheduled Penn State. Yet LSU still wants to complain.
Man up, LSU. Play the games. You have top 5 talent, and depending on the Saturday, top 5 coaching.