Schedule format decision is imminent | The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, Missouri
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive is hopeful this week's spring meetings end with the league's biggest puzzle put together. The league's coaches, athletic directors, presidents and chancellors will continue to explore football scheduling during their stay here with a resolution expected by Friday.
Read more from the Columbia Trib's Dave Matter"Our goal is to have a format determined while we're here and then move on to scheduling," he said.The format most often discussed is the 6-1-1 model where teams will play all six of their division opponents, plus one permanent rival and a rotating opponent from the other division. Arkansas and South Carolina have been cross-division rivals since joining the SEC in 1992, but it's widely expected that SEC newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M will split up that longtime pairing. The new rivalries are expected to be Missouri-Arkansas and Texas A&M-South Carolina.
LSU Coach Les Miles is no fan of the 6-1-1 format, primarily because LSU is tired of playing Florida every season. South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier takes "reform" to an entirely different level, advocating a move towards having only divisional play determine the division races. Les Miles agrees with him.
Neither of these are good ideas. Eliminating permanent rivals means an end to storied rivalries like the Third Saturday in October and the Oldest Rivalry in the Deep South. The only way to really include those rivalries and make sense in the rotational time cycle is to move to nine games. That causes a whole different set of problems, including threats to South Carolina - Clemson, Florida - Florida State and Georgia - Georgia Tech.
The least disruptive route is the 6-1-1 format and it's a safe bet that it'll pass.