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Do Slive Comments Signal the End of Auburn-Georgia?

By on April 23rd, 2014 in Football 10 Comments »

Mike SliveIf you are of a certain age, you remember how big the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry used to be in the Midwest. Once thought untouchable, the game is now a distant memory. Like that series, conference realignment threatens to kill the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive made headlines on Monday when he announced that a decision would be made next month on whether the league would move to a nine-game conference schedule. Such a move could potentially mean the end of rivalries like Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee.

“Last spring in Destin (Fla.), our presidents said to us, ‘Study the formats and we want a decision in time for the 2016 season,’ which is now,” Slive said. “So we’ve been working on that since then.”

The formats being studied include:

Eight-game league schedule with permanent crossover rivalries

Eight-game league schedule without permanent crossover rivalries

Nine-game league schedule with permanent crossover rivalries

Nine-game league schedule without permanent crossover rivalries

While nothing is certain, most believe a nine-game slate is likely. With the college football playoff beginning this year, there is pressure on schools to play quality opponents.

Adding an extra conference game would accomplish that for most teams. The discussion centers on how to fairly schedule the three out-of-division games. While Auburn falls in the group pushing for a permanent crossover opponent, others like LSU favor a round-robin approach.

Conventional wisdom says that Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee should have enough clout to maintain the one permanent game. But don’t be so sure. With 14 teams now involved in the decision, anything is possible. There has been a lot of talk about an unbalanced schedule rotation if these traditional rivalries are left in place.

“We tell them that all of the formats — every one of them — has a series of advantages and disadvantages,” Slive said. “There’s no one that lines up with all advantages and there’s no one that lines up with all disadvantages. So people are going to have to make a decision knowing that whatever decision they make is going to have some advantages and some disadvantages.”

The Pac-12 and Big 12 have already moved to a nine-game conference schedule and the Big 10 will do so in 2016. Another factor in moving to the new format is the formation of conference television networks. The SEC Network is launching in August and the idea of one extra league game is appealing to both ESPN and the conference.

Another option on the table is to stick with the current eight-game format and enter into an agreement with another conference to match up schools from those leagues. The ACC has already floated the idea with the SEC.

Slive said a decision will be made no later than the end of May. Let’s hope Georgia doesn’t go the way of Tennessee and Florida on Auburn’s schedule.

10 Comments

  1. mikeautiger says:

    If they go with the 8 game no permanent crossover opponent, why can’t AU & GA schedule each other instead of one of those directional schools. I remember back in the day when bma played one more SEC game than everyone, Auburn would beat them but Bama would win the SEC because they had played more games and their winning percentage would give them the victory even though we had won the same number of games and they had lost us. This extra AU vs GA game would give us an advantage in strength of schedule and in the divisional races.

    • AETiger AETiger says:

      Since I have lived in ATL for the past 27 years, in can tell you that UGA would not do the above. They already whine about playing GT every year. Recently, UGA canceled home & homes with Oregon, Louisville and Ohio State.
      Since the SEC sold out in the name of money, this is what you get; the end of the rivalries that made college football the game it is. I suggest we go back to the prior 1992 line-up. Seriously, who wants to play ARK & aTm instead of UF, Tenn & UGA?

    • domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

      Good idea, BUT, it would most likely be vetoed by the SEC. The SEC isn’t ruled by the bear anymore and saban has just about irked everyone.

      IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

      WAR EAGLE !!!

      GO BIG BLUE !!!

  2. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    This makes me very grumpy…….very grumpy, indeed.

  3. dabble says:

    dump bama, it’s toxic. they cheat anyway. uga rivalry is more fun and heated. not hateful.

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I have seen other comments here. This subject has been one that has hovered outside of the noise level for several years now. From my point of view, the SEC crown loses its luster if/when this happens.

    Why? Because the South is built around tradition. It always has been. It always will be.

    I hated the day when AU stopped playing Georgia Tech. And I will further hate the day when AU stops playing UGA. It’s the deep South’s oldest rivalry. It won’t change my love for Auburn. But in my opinion… AU would be much better off being moved to the East Conference instead of being in this lopsided West Division anyway. It just makes more sense. Then we could be playing the cheaters from Northport every four years or in the SEC championship, which ever comes first.

    WDE

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Agree the East is where Tigers need to be, both traditionally and geographically. And Auburn was ready to make that move when the league went from 12 to 14 teams but it was blocked by bama, UGa and Tenn.

      • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

        I hope Auburn officials at least make another play for moving to the East. If we do move to a partnership with the ACC, I’d love to get Georgia Tech back on the schedule. There’s something criminal about not playing an old rival that’s a little over an hour from your campus. Same goes for Georgia-Clemson.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      I agree. Moving to the East would make sense on several levels.

  5. mikeautiger says:

    The more I think about this the madder I get. I here people saying if we play too many SEC teams it will hurt our chances to get to national championship. What ever happened to, to be the best you have to play the best. We get better when we have to play the best and if we get better we will beat everyone we need to beat to go to NCG. Is this some more wuss fiction of America, we sound like a bunch of sissies in the SEC! We did not get where we are by being soft but by being the best, let’s play 9 games and keep some of the best games in America alive and well and true decides on the field as to is really championship material. war Eagle.