SEC A.D.'s closing in on 13-team scheduling model

semerson@macon.comOctober 24, 2011 

ATHENS - While everyone is waiting for word on Missouri's possible entry to the SEC, the league's athletics directors appear to be closing in on a 2012 scheduling model that only includes 13 teams - and preserves traditional rivalries.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said he and his colleagues spoke via teleconference last week, and said the scheduling model should be revealed "sooner than later."  And McGarity said the focus has been on finding solutions for 2012, and not a long-term model.

"There are various challenges that will be clarified here shortly," McGarity said. "But we all realize that we're just focusing on one year. ... That's really our mission right now, and we're in the process of trading information back and forth."

The league's athletics directors have met several times to go over scheduling possibilities following Texas A&M's addition, which is effective for the 2012-13 academic year.

McGarity said he didn't foresee traditional cross-division rivals - such as Georgia-Auburn and Tennessee-Alabama - being disrupted. But other cross-division games that were previously scheduled for 2012 could be affected.

In other words, Georgia fans can still count on playing Auburn in 2012, but the Ole Miss and Alabama games could be up in the air.

"There are several models that we have seen that keep your East opponents intact, and then keeping your Western common opponent intact," McGarity said. "And beyond that there are a number of different options. But I think that we've seen the traditional rivals stay in place."

McGarity said there was no discussion of a 14-team model.

"That's all that we're really focusing on right now is the 13-team model," McGarity said.

That could change if Missouri withdraws from the Big 12 and joins the SEC. But time is drawing tight for that to happen and be effective for the 2012 season.

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