Georgia's scheduling on hold as playoff, expansion takes root

semerson@macon.comJune 27, 2012 

ATHENS - Don't look for news any time soon on Georgia's future football scheduling - SEC and otherwise.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said everything is essentially in a holding pattern, thanks in large part to Tuesday's news that college football is going to a four-team playoff starting with the 2014 season.

The importance of strength of schedule in deciding those four teams is unknown, and McGarity said that will be key for SEC teams as they put together their non-conference schedules.

"When the dust settles from the recent news yesterday, I'm sure we'll meet as a conference and discuss how big of a component the strength of schedule is going to play, and certainly listen to the commissioner, and try to get a read on where he feels we are as a conference," McGarity said.

That meeting isn't likely to take place until August, when the A.D.'s have a regularly scheduled meeting in Orlando. The month of July is usually reserved for vacation time, so no meetings would take place unless they're done by teleconference.

The conference schedule, meanwhile, is also taking some time to come together. Earlier this month, at the SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., the conference voted to go to a 6-1-1 format, with the eighth game being a rotating cross-division game.

But who plays who and when has yet to be released. McGarity said Wednesday that he did not know who Georgia's eighth opponent in 2013 will be. He said he has seen different models, but nothing specific yet.

So what's taking so long?

"I'm sure there are conversations with television partners on trying to find more meaningful games at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year. I'm sure there's some discussion with television on timing," McGarity said. "There was so much emphasis on rotators, and getting the schedule set, as far as who you play, as far as the 6-1-1 model. That took so much time. It takes time to put everything together and put the parameters in."

The new schedule was necessitated by expansion. Missouri and Texas A&M officially become SEC members on Sunday. McGarity said that when it comes to putting together SEC schedules, the conference is building around each team's non-conference schedules, and that complicates it further.

"Now there are 14 moving pieces instead of 12," McGarity said. "And two teams, that makes a significant difference."

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