With the Big 12 jumping on board with the ACC to deregulate the conference championship games there is one major question in my mind. How would this affect/benefit the SEC or more particularly Florida?
If you haven’t read Dennis Dodd’s report from CBS Sports I recommend it. I was first alerted to his article and the ease that this proposal may pass by Year2 over at Team Speed Kills. Year2 focuses on the impact it has on the Big 12 being able to drop back to 8 games to host a conference championship game that is not a rematch and how it will encourage them to seek out an additional non conference game from a power conference, and that the opponents from that conference being from the SEC. Basically his article is about matching the 10 SEC teams who don’t have an annual rivalry game outside the conference with the 10 teams in the Big 12.
While that is all good and well, it has no impact on Florida. Or does it?
Looking deeper into this Florida fans should be aware that deregulating the conference championship games allows a conference like the Big 12 to host a conference championship game without requiring divisions. The SEC split into 2 divisions in 1992 with the additions of South Carolina and Arkansas to garner the money and notoriety that came from a conference championship game, thanks former SEC commissioner Kramer. The reason the SEC split into divisions was because it had to do so to meet the guidelines that regulate conference championship games.
If divisions are no longer required to host a conference championship game, then SEC can redesign the scheduling format immensely. Instead of a 6-1-1 you would see a 3-5 format (or a 4-4 format) in which 3 permanent rivals would remain on your team’s schedule and 5 schools would rotate.
Recently we have seen some clamoring from Jean Shorts Torture and others about missing the historic Auburn rivalry. Bring it back y’all. I contend that under the 3-5 format Florida would play Georgia, Auburn, and probably your choice of South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, or LSU and then rotate through the rest. With 5 rotating games Florida (and every SEC school) would play every school twice every 4 years. No fan would have to miss a rivalry much if it wasn’t their top 3 in the SEC.
But what would this do to SEC’s and Florida’s chances to make the playoffs?
While I don’t think anyone can say for certain, and we are all speculating considering we haven’t even had one year of a playoff yet, but I actually believe this would increase the SEC’s odds to produce 2 to 3 (maybe even 4) top 5 teams. The potential to avoid big time programs and play the smaller schools is far more conducive in this format.
What are your thoughts on this potential?