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Florida and Georgia would simply lose way, way to much money in a nine game SEC. Both Florida and Georgia need at least seven home games every year to support their budgets (and the local economies of Gainesville and Athens). The problem with a nine game SEC schedule for both Florida and Georgia would be that 1. they both play a mandated in state rivalry game that is a home and away series (Florida State and Georgia Tech) and 2. they play an annual game in Jacksonville which eliminates another possibility for a home game. That means that every other year either florida or georgia would have only six home games and depending on how the sec schedules lined up might only even have five home games (although I imagine the SEC would plan around that contingency to prevent it from happening) Texas A&M would have a similar problem if Texas would ever get over it and schedule them again because of the Southwest Classic in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. (They may already with SMU, I don't exactly know how important that series is the A&M or its fans) I doubt that the SEC wants to seriously injure (and likely anger) what are two of the most important and powerful members of the conference. Unless the SEC invites both Ga Tech and FSU (which is not going to happen) I imagine that a nine game conference schedule would be a complete non-starter for the Gators and Dogs, that is unless of course they are granted some other concessions, of which I can't even speculate they would be.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Big Ten Considering A 9- Or 10-Game Conference Schedule
Here's something to consider about an 18-team sec with unc, duke, ncsu, and va tech, the football divisions wouldn't be very appealing for the eastern teams in terms of rivalries or matchup excitement from fans assuming they keep the same east/west allingment. In the east, you would have vatech, the four carolina schools, uga, uf, uk, and either tenn or vandy (I assume tenn). That means that tenn woud be split from every one of its major historic rivals (Since Florida only really became a rival in the 1990's). So that would mean that either tenn's annual rivalry with vandy or alabama woud go away, just like the one with Ole Miss did. And if Bama/UT was no longer an annual game anyway I expect permanent crossover games would be eliminated entirely, the only permananent rivalry that people would care about saving would be UGA Auburn, and I doubt there would be enough support among AD's for leaguewide (and increasingly non-sensical) permanent crossover opponents to protect a single game. Otherwise there would be really stupid permanent games like NCSU and Missouri (as a random example). It might actually make more sense to move both vandy and ut to the west and auburn to the east, leaving the Iron Bowl as the ONLY permanent crossover rivalry (which would only increase the "specialness" of that game, but I don't know how feasible that would be. The biggest scheduling victim would be Florida in either case. Florida would trade annual games with lsu (a personal favorite of mine), possibly tennessee, vandy (an academic school, in a major media market, traditional opponent, and improving in football dramatically) and missouri (at least it has some reputation for football and is another major media market) for north carolina, va tech, possibly auburn, duke (an academic school with none of the benefits of vandy), and NCSU (which would be equal to mizzou except for the fact that two other NC schools were already on the schedule) You know what happens when you put three North Carolina schools on a Florida school's schedule every year? You get Florida State's half empy stadium. Forget about going to road games either. North Carolina is so far from most of UF's alumni base that i might as well be Califormia. (which actually might be easier for someone Florida to get to than Chapel Hill, and almost certainly Blacksburg) I know that Florida fans don't travel well anyway, but some at least try. I know that fan support isn't really taken into consideration here, but it would be nice if it was. In a dream scenario, I'd want the SEC to go to 18 with Fla State, Miami, Clemson and GaTech, but would sadly be too awesome to exit in a world where it's all about the short term money rather than the long term common sense.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on With Expansion Talk Heating Up, Here Are Four “Best-Case” Scenarios For The SEC