Back to Back with the hosts of Head to Head: Nine-game SEC schedule

Every Thursday. the hosts of the weekday Supertalk Mississippi show “Head to Head” will answer a question exclusively for Daily Journal readers. Oxford native Richard Cross is also part of the new SEC Network broadcast team, while Matt Wyatt is former MSU quarterback and the color man for Bulldogs’ football broadcasts. Email your questions to DJournalSports@gmail.com

This week’s question: Ole Miss and MSU don’t face the best SEC East teams this fall. How would you feel about a nine-game league schedule?

THE RICHARD CROSS TAKE

No Original CaptionFrom a purely selfish standpoint, a nine game conference schedule in the SEC sounds fantastic. One less Directional Tech game replaced by Georgia, Missouri, Florida or South Carolina is a no brainer.

Whether watching on television or sitting in the stadium, a conference game feels better, is far more intense and is more interesting. But if you are a fan of the SEC, that’s about the only rational justification for going from eight to nine games.

The reality for Southeastern Conference teams – and fans – is that there is no need to add another league game. There has been plenty of rhetoric about strength of schedule as it relates to the new College Football Playoff. The SEC already has that covered. Eight of the fourteen teams in the league begin the season in the AP Top 25 and most of the teams in the conference play at least one more “big” game. Strength of schedule is important for all college teams, but it is less of an issue in the SEC.

For most teams in the Southeastern Conference, the goal is to win as many games as possible and to get to the best bowl game possible. If the team you cheer for is an SEC team, and that team wins all its games, then you will get to watch your team in the playoff, even with a measly eight conference games.

THE MATT WYATT TAKE

No Original CaptionThere’s pressure on the SEC to go to a nine-game conference schedule. You better believe it.

However, it’s not happening anytime soon. The conference made a move this offseason mandating every SEC team schedule at least one, “Big 5” non-conference game beginning in 2016.

What’s best for the SEC is to get rid of this goofy idea of “permanent cross-division rivals”.

Raise your hand if you’re pumped for those huge “rivalry” games between Ole Miss & Vandy… MSU & Kentucky? Anyone? Bueller? The SEC has told South Carolina and Texas A&M that they’re a fit for each other as permanent, cross-division foes. Seriously? What about Florida vs LSU every year?

Newsflash: we’re not buying it.

The SEC office is allowing the Alabama schools to hold the rest of the league hostage.

Some big booster obviously thinks Tennessee vs Bama is “good for the game”, I guess. Maybe Auburn has convinced the league office that it matters how long they’ve played Georgia. Those games should rotate. The two cross-divisional opponents should rotate every two years… period. It’s what’s best, and it’s what everyone else in the conference wants.