An update on SEC football scheduling

semerson@macon.comMay 8, 2013 

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity.

JOHN KELLEY/UGA

ATHENS - SEC athletics directors have been meeting in Jacksonville the past few days, with the football schedule again a big part of the agenda. But the most contentious part of the debate - whether to go to nine games - is still to come, apparently.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said several weeks ago that an eight-game schedule for 2014 and the next few years should be approved soon. SEC commissioner Mike Slive said last week he hoped the schedule could be revealed at league meetings in Destin later this month, or perhaps sooner.

From everything we've gleaned, there has been no discussion of a nine-game schedule for 2014.

The debate over whether to go to nine is a long-term issue, according to SEC officials. In the meantime, they're just trying to crank out schedules for 2014, 2015 and perhaps longer, which will operate on the 6-1-1 format approved at last year's meetings.

"I'm sure there'll be ongoing discussion for scheduling," McGarity said Tuesday, during a break from meetings. "I'm not sure how long it will go out. But we should receive information on '14 and maybe '15. Who knows. We'll be discussing it the next couple weeks. But no real news on that."

Of course - and this is speculation - if there proves to be enough consensus to move to nine games, the SEC could always rip up the 2014 schedule and start anew. They did that less than a year before the 2012 season, to account for the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M. The SEC Network goes on the air in August of 2014, which could serve as an impetus for adding more conference games.

Barring that, however, look for an eight-game schedule to hold for the next few years. There doesn't appear to be enough consensus on going to nine, at least not yet, to make it happen immediately.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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