Blog Entry

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:37 pm
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Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Everyone expected difficulties in scheduling an expanded SEC. But we're not sure many expected the kind of difficulties outlined by Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday--the sort that could bring an end to one of the conference's oldest and greatest rivalries.

According to McGarity, the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" between his Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers could be near the end if its 114-year run* as an annual series. When the SEC convenes at the end of February to map out its future schedules, it will have to decide whether or not to maintain the permanent cross-division game that has preserved the Auburn-Georgia meeting since the league's 1992 expansion. 

With only two of the potential seven cross-divisional games constituting traditional rivalries (the "Third Saturday in October" between Alabama and Tennessee is also in jeopardy), McGarity says the leaguewide support for continuing those games may not be there.

“I think if you ask Alabama and Tennessee, like us and Auburn, we’d like to retain the games,” McGarity said. “But does that work? What do the other 10 schools think? Those four schools like having those games but there’s no other East-West match-up that has that piece of history to it. So I don’t where that fits in ...

“With 14 teams, not everybody will be happy. Some will have a problem with everything. But we’ll make decisions based on the best situation of the league.”

Further complicating the issue is that with six intra-divisional games and a permanent cross-division rival, an eight-game SEC schedule would see just one slot devoted to rotating cross-divisional opponents--meaning teams in the East would play their rotating opponents in the West just twice every 12 years. A nine-game schedule would alleviate many of these problems, but both McGarity and SEC officials say there is little interest within the league to add the extra conference game. 

League officials could find a compromise--say, letting Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama continue with their cross-divisional partnerships while other schools rotate, or allowing those four schools to play their rivalry games as a nonconference matchup in years when they aren't scheduled to play within the SEC.

But those suggestions are entirely speculative. The bottom line is that in a 14-team league, there's simply no way to 1. play an eight-game schedule 2. maintain those cross-divisional rivalries 3. have other cross-divisional opponents play more often than a couple of times a decade. It doesn't work.

Which is why -- unless the league changes course on the nine-game scheduling issue -- it's going to continue to find itself wedged between the proverbial rock and a hard place. And unfortunately for Auburn and Georgia fans, the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry may well prove to be the cost of getting itself out.

*The game has been played every year since 1898 with the exception of three seasons during World Wars I and II.

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Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 6:03 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

 It could be worse, thank about Indiana and Illinois for example in the Big-10. Or like the Eagles in the NFL or the 76ers in the NBA, just truly awful programs.

I take it you don't follow the NBA if you think the 76ers are awful. And even if the Eagles go 1-15 they will win more games than Mississippi's and Alabama's non existent NFL teams.

As for Illinois football, they were in a Rose Bowl and a Sugar Bowl since 2000. What has either Mississippi school done since then?

The SEC: They have two schools from Alabama, two schools from Mississippi, and yet they insist on having only one school from Florida.

What a cracked out whackadoo.



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:30 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

> It could be worse, thank about Indiana and Illinois for example in the Big-10. Or like the Eagles in the NFL or the 76ers in the NBA, just truly awful programs.

I take it you don't follow the NBA if you think the 76ers are awful. And even if the Eagles go 1-15 they will win more games than Mississippi's and Alabama's non existent NFL teams.

As for Illinois football, they were in a Rose Bowl and a Sugar Bowl since 2000. What has either Mississippi school done since then?

The SEC: They have two schools from Alabama, two schools from Mississippi, and yet they insist on having only one school from Florida.



Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:32 am
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

BuckJim is a complete idiot...be happy the Big Ten MIGHT be second best...dude, let it go. For the last 10+ years, the SEC is the dominant conference in college football. That will change at some point, but for now...no.

Plus, look at the recruiting classes turned in by the SEC vs. the Big Ten...not even close...

Have fun with Urban...you'll get five years out of him at best...he's too itchy to stay around for the long haul.



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:13 am
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

>If only the $EC had been content with what they had and not decided to add two pathetic excuses for colleges in Gay-&-M and Misuse

Better than the pathetic excuses they already have (Mississippi and Mississippi State?).

It could be worse, thank about Indiana and Illinois for example in the Big-10.  Or like the Eagles in the NFL or the 76ers in the NBA, just truly awful programs.



Since: Jul 28, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:39 am
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

HA... Phillies fan... bandwagon fan? fairweather fan? wouldn't know real football if it bit him in the ass? THE PHILLIES ARE THE YANKEES OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE YOU TOOL, AND IF PEOPLE IN THE NORTH KNEW HOW TO PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL THEN I BET YOU'D BE SINGING A DIFFERENT TUNE



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:23 am
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

>If only the $EC had been content with what they had and not decided to add two pathetic excuses for colleges in Gay-&-M and Misuse

Better than the pathetic excuses they already have (Mississippi and Mississippi State?).



Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:29 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

If only the $EC had been content with what they had and not decided to add two pathetic excuses for colleges in Gay-&-M and Misuse.



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:12 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

that plan sounds great but the NCAA has to give permission to abolish divisions and still play a championship game
but maybe that can happen. I am sure the SEC has asked or will ask for tihs in order to keep the "must play games"



Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:30 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

Here's the problem-- Tennessee has to play Alabama, Alabama has to play Auburn, Auburn has to play Georgia, Georgia has to play Florida.  Without a cross-divisional game, those schools would have to be in the same division to keep their rivalries intact.  But save LSU, those are the SEC powers.  Perhaps the SEC should just abolish divisions, assign each school its own unique 5-school annual schedule, a 2-school alternating game 6, and rotate the remainding 6 schools through the remaining 2 games.



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:27 pm
 

Georgia AD: Auburn rivalry not guaranteed

Auburn, Geogria, Alabama and Tennessee have to unite
this can NOT be allowed to happen
When they broke up Oklahoma & Nebraska it was the beginning of the end for the Big 12

SEC....do not let this happen 


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