Since I have been
so right in the ballpark written about conference expansion, I thought I’d throw my idea out for a 13 team football schedule. For better and more well thought out ideas, check out Mr. SECs plan (short version: use the MAC’s current 13 team scheduling as a guide) and Team Speed Kills’ plan (short version: use the MAC’s current 13 team scheduling as a guide, but since it is for one year, throw South Carolina and Tennessee under the bus by sending them to College Station because they suck at recruiting Texas). In all honesty, the MAC was my first thought, too.
I believe the SEC will add another team in enough time to get a full 14 teams scheduled for 2012. We’ve given our thoughts on who that team might be, but, hell, I’m way more wrong than I am am right. Given that, we’ve got to consider the possibility the SEC will have 13 teams for at least one season.
So, if the SEC doesn’t expand before 2012, what will the schedule look like? The simple solution is copy the MAC. I won’t rehash the scenarios competently laid out in Mr. SEC’s or Team Speed Kills’ articles linked above, but the gist is the East side of the schedule will be exactly the same, except for the two East v West games that will have to be lost somewhere to get the West side enough slots for games. Four West teams will play five division games, three will play six. The kicker is only division games count for winning the division, at least if you go strictly by the MAC plan.
Where does that leave us? It is simple, to me. Make Texas A&M quasi-independent in football for one year. They play an eight game conference schedule, without regard to division. Put the eleven schools that aren’t already playing them (Arkansas has them scheduled) in a hat, and draw. They won’t be eligible for the SEC championship game. Their results don’t count in conference standings. As a carrot, they are eligible for the SEC’s BCS slot if they are ranked higher in the final BCS standings than the conference champion. In a strange way, they could enhance their BCS national championship or at large chances by avoiding the SECCG.
Imagine playing Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, and South Carolina, with games in Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Athens and Gainesville. You go undefeated against that schedule, it’ll be
hard nearly impossible to get left out of the BCS championship game.