So, with the 2011-2012 season behind us, now is the time to begin discussing something that has had little attention to this point: creating the SEC schedules for the 12+2 SEC schools for this coming season. As frustrated as we all get over how late SEC schools release schedules, it should be safe to say that this trend can only get worse for this upcoming landmark season for the conference. We are already coming off of a season with the enacted removal of the Eastern/Western Divisional Standings, while maintaining the existing regional scheduling. The only thing that seems certain at this point is moving from a 16-game to an 18-game SEC schedule. So, with the upcoming SEC meetings in the next month or so, the following additional questions should be answered:
1. Do we revert back to the Divisional Standings? (By going to 14 teams, this may be on the table again for all we know)
2. Do we still maintain the existing regional scheduling? (i.e. Alabama plays all of the Western teams twice while playing each Eastern team once? That is the equivalent of (6*2)+7=19, so something has to give.)
3. Do we rotate in the West and have Bama play all but one Western team twice and each Eastern team once to make the math work out?
4. Do we rotate in the East and have Bama play all of the Western teams twice and play all but one of the East teams once to make the math work out?
Also, when it comes to the conference tourney, they also have to choose between these two likely scenarios:
5. Playing a 14-team tournament (you can pull this off having only the top 2 teams get byes, and having 6 Thursday games instead of the current 4 games.
6. Ditching the bottom 2 teams, maintaining the existing post-season format. (Knowing that conference expansion is all about the $$$, I'm thinking this may not go far, but what do I know?)
There may be other scenarios that is on the table that we do not yet know about. As you can see, it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm treating this as an open dialogue, so feel free to post your thoughts.