ATHENS - SEC athletics directors will meet later this month, at the league’s women’s basketball tournament, to go over future scheduling for football and basketball.
Most of the public curiosity will be on football, and how rivalries and rotations are sorted out with 14 total teams.
Could Georgia’s annual cross-division rivalry with Auburn be in danger? Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said he hopes not.
“I think you have to have an open mind and consider everything,” McGarity said. “But we just haven’t studied enough to be able to come out and say: This is where we are.”
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One way to solve it is to expand the SEC schedule to nine games, thus allowing for six division games and three against the other division. The ACC has decided to go to nine games, following the lead of the Pac-12.
But the SEC doesn’t want to do that.
“The general feeling is we want to stay with eight,” McGarity said. “But we have not sat down as a group of A.D.’s to talk about 2012 and beyond. We just had to get 2012 solved to move forward. So who knows what 2013 through either a two-year or six-year rotation. But that’s what we’re going to meet to (talk about) and dedicate a whole day to.”
So why not go to nine games? McGarity doesn’t like squeezing the non-conference schedule. He pointed out that most teams have a traditionally non-conference rival, a la Georgia Tech.
“Nine games, and Georgia Tech, that makes 10 games,” McGarity said. “If you ever wanted to schedule Clemson or Ohio State, like we have, then that only leaves one guarantee game. That’s a pretty tough schedule. Fans would love it. But I don’t know if your coaches or players (would). That’s strapping it up 11 of 12 weeks there. You have to have some time where some players play who never get a chance to be on the field.
That’s why you schedule some of the I-AAs, and some of the other games, to let some of those kids grow, let those kids get their experience.”
Ohio State and Georgia are slated to play in 2020 and 2021. Ohio State recently hired Urban Meyer, the former Florida head coach, whom McGarity knows from his days as an associate athletics director at Florida.
“I’ve already reached out to his right-hand man there and said, ‘You better make sure that’s still on the schedule,’” McGarity said.