Mayo: The SEC announced this week that they would be cutting the cord on their previous divisional set up within the conference this coming season.
The divisional set up was clearly done for the purposes of the football season, as there has to be a way to decide who will play for the conference championship. Basketball, on the other hand, has conference tournaments to decide that. Go figure.
A divisional set up simply does not make sense for a college basketball conference, which is why the SEC was the last to make the change. All it did was screw up the seeding of the conference tournament. You would have teams playing each other in the first round that really shouldn’t have faced off until the semifinals, potentially. That is a product of the divisions not being equal, as well. Last season, five teams from the SEC East received bids to the NCAA Tournament. The West? A goose egg.
Really, the only question is why it took so long for this change to be made. I’ll toss it to Giblin for his analysis on the move and how it shapes things in the SEC going forward.
Giblin: First, Florida coach Billy Donovan suggested the conference tournament be seeded by RPI.Huh? How did this guy win 2 National Championships? Yes, Billy. Let’s seed the tournament based off of computer ratings which has been a flawless system for college football and gone over so well with the media and fans. Idiot.
Like Mayo said, why did it take this long? There’s a reason the other BCS conferences don’t have divisions – it’s stupid. Take a look at the Southeastern Conference’s standings from this past year. The SEC East was a lot better than the West last year going 27-9 against them in head to head competition. The unbalanced schedule led to two undeserving teams getting byes in a pretty competitive SEC tournament. That isn’t right. Have every other team face each other once, play a couple of rivals home-and-home every year. The other match-ups rotate on a yearly basis. Seed the tournament on overall conference standings. It’s not perfect but it’s better than what they have.
But Mayo, have you heard that the SEC is contemplating increasing their schedule from 16 games to 18, or potentially 22? That’s leave the schools with about ten out-of-conference games a year. Wouldn’t it be almost impossible to get a true gauge of how good the conference is? Seven or eight of the ten games would be cupcakes, so we’d be looking at three out-of-conference games to judge most of the schools on. 22 seems like a bit too much.