LSU’s Les Miles agrees with South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier that the SEC divisions should decide who goes to the SEC Championship game.
“I want the schedule to be fair and I want it to give everybody the same opportunity,” Miles said today in Birmingham at a luncheon for the Changed Lives Christian Center. “I’m for the Western Division deciding the Western Division champion and the Eastern Division deciding the Eastern Division champion.”
The SEC has yet to decide on an eight or nine game conference schedule and probably won’t before the league meetings at the end of this month (May 29 – June 1). They have been discussing the scheduling since February.
“I don’t think we’ll have anything ready before Destin,” said Larry Templeton, chairman of the SEC transition committee assisting with Texas A&M and Missouri’s arrival. “I think realistically everybody is trying to make sure we do it the right way. This (schedule) is going to be a number of years out. It doesn’t do any good to make the decision the first of May or last of May. We wanted to let everybody think about it when we gather for a little more time.”
The most probable schedule still appears to be the one that will be used this season. A 6-1-1 format that will allow for six divisional games and one permanent cross-division opponent. The other game would rotate between the rest of the opposing division teams. While this won’t allow for some teams to play each other for quite a while, it really is the best option if the SEC plans on continuing permanent rivals.
So far only South Carolina and Texas A&M have publicly stated that their teams will be permanent cross-division rivals. LSU has stated that it and Florida are both interested in ending their annual corss-divisional game, although LSU’s Miles did say that he doesn’t mind playing Florida annually and personally I don’t either.
“Eventually they will realize it doesn’t benefit either team,” he said. “If you would go back and look at the number of wins historically since 2000, I think you’ll find LSU, Georgia, Florida and Alabama would be right in that mix. I think you should seed those people away from each other if you want an opportunity for the best teams to be the best teams without eliminating each other’s opportunity of winning.”
“Whoever’s playing Alabama and LSU on the other side, they’re playing a very difficult opponent year in and year out and their opportunities to win their division will be reduced by the percentage of times they finish second in that game,” Miles said.
The best quote from Miles about the new teams coming into the SEC
“I would say strap it up,” Miles said. “They’re going to really not enjoy their welcoming to this conference.”
He’s right, A&M and Missouri have faced far less quality defenses in the Big 12 and will be in for a treat playing their SEC schedules.