Conference realignment is a nightmare for a lot of people, and while it will wreak havoc on writers trying to remember who plays in what league, the college hoops scribes certainly don’t have the worst of it.
I feel bad for league schedule makers.
With conferences continually becoming bloated, increasingly less recognizable amalgams of programs from across the country, putting together an 18 game schedule for 14 or 16 (or, in the case of the Big East, 20) teams has turned into quite a difficult task.
The SEC faces that exact challenge, as they add both Missouri and Texas A&M from the Big 12.
The league’s coaches made their proposal on Wednesday, and it is quite complicated. Each program will have a permanent rival that they play twice every single season. Of the twelve other programs in the conference, four will be home-and-homes while the other eight will be played once.
That’s 18 games.
And potentially unfair. Part of the reason that we need conference tournaments is that too many leagues play unbalanced schedules meaning that there will be teams that have more difficult schedules (i.e. the teams that draw Kentucky twice) and teams that have easier schedules (i.e. the teams that draw LSU twice). We can’t all be the Ivy League, ya know.
Anyway, here are the permanent rivals:
- Kentucky and Florida
- Tennessee and Vanderbilt
- Missouri and Arkansas
- LSU and Texas A&M
- Ole Miss and Mississippi State
- Auburn and Alabama
- South Carolina and Georgia
Honestly, I don’t have a huge problem with those pairings. And I don’t have a huge problem with the way the coaches want to schedule the league season, because with 14 teams in a conference, there isn’t going to be an easy answer.
I do have a problem with realignment, however.
It’s a shame no one cares about my opinion.