So, the league should become a compact, sportier model by reducing its members from 12 to nine.
This past football season, nine SEC
teams traveled to bowls. Thus, it is easy to determine which nine members stay
in the conference. We also can discern that Ole Miss,
The Rebels, Bulldogs and Commodores drain the league of valuable dollars and prevent the SEC from crowning a true champion. If Ole Miss, MSU and Vandy were not siphoning funds from the strongest members of the SEC, LSU would not be forced to burden the nation's most loyal fans with escalating ticket prices.
The lucrative television and bowl revenues delivered to the least of the SEC brethren should be split among the nine strongest programs. This is a case of Darwinian survival of the fittest. Goodbye, Johnny Rebs; So long, State; See you, Vandy.
Some Ole Miss fans might question
Here's how the new SEC will work:
There will be one division for football and basketball with all nine members.
Each league representative plays eight football games against conference foes,
four at home and four away. At the end of the regular season, the top two teams
In LSU's case, the Tigers will play four additional non-conference games at home.
Likely, Ole Miss should appear on
the schedule in
Ole Miss followers may be ecstatic
about trekking to
John Kennedy was president, the
conference featured all-white teams and Sen. Trent Lott was a cheerleader when
Ole Miss last dominated the league. The Rebels haven't reached the SEC pinnacle
In basketball, the new format
allows each SEC team to play every other team home and away in a 16-game league
slate. Once again, a true regular season champion is recognized, and SEC
post-season competition is unaffected. LSU fans will have the pleasure of booing
This proposal was first recommended in this space in 1985. At that time, the now late, great former Ole Miss broadcaster Stan Torgerson was ticked off at this column and reacted with a vengeance. Torgerson was a worthy adversary, and I wouldn't be suggesting this if he were still alive.
Twenty-two years have gone since
Stan the Man questioned the sanity of anyone recommending an SEC exit strategy
for his beloved Ole Miss. Now,
Since 2000, LSU's footballers are
6-1 vs. Ole Miss; 7-0 vs.
Under the realigned SEC, LSU will
never again fail to compete against the best the league has to offer. The
plethora of schools in the conference deprived the Tigers of the right to face
Bo Jackson at
College sports are big businesses, not charities. LSU fans are contributing to the coffers of three programs that receive more than they produce. Vanderbilt may raise the overall grade point average of the league, but fans want their teams to play in BCS bowls, not quiz bowls.
This idea has so much merit that
Houston Nutt and Steve Spurrier get the message to start collecting SEC hardware
for trophy rooms at
Jim Engster is the general manager