Count LSU coach Les Miles and AD Joe Alleva as two detractors of the new SEC scheduling policy. Over the weekend SEC presidents voted 10-4 to uphold the conference’s 6-1-1 format (6 divisional opponents, 1 fixed and 1 rotating cross-divisional opponent), while adding a new wrinkle: beginning in 2016, all teams must schedule one game per season against a power conference opponent (or Notre Dame).
In response to what he calls “disproportionate” scheduling, a disappointed Miles offered the following statement:
“We play the toughest schedule in America in our conference, and then we have the bias of the permanent partner,” Miles told The Advocate on Monday while speaking at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. “We’re now also being mandated to take a BCS team. The bias of the schedule continues to be disproportionate. Fundamentally fair is not something they’ve given great thought to.”
Alleva called the 6-1-1 scheduling a “competitive disadvantage” when expressing his frustration over the vote.
“I’m disappointed in the fact that the leadership of our conference doesn’t understand the competitive advantage permanent partners give to certain institutions,” Alleva told NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. “I tried to bring that up very strongly at the meeting today. In our league we share the money and expenses equally but we don’t share our opponents equally.”
He then went on to cite specific examples of schools voting in their best interests, rather than the integrity of the league.
“If I’m Ole Miss and I’m playing Vanderbilt, I’ll vote to play Vanderbilt,” Alleva said. “If I’m Mississippi State and I’m playing Kentucky, I’m going to vote to play Kentucky. People voted their own self interest instead of what is in the best interest of competitive balance.
“I understand Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia for the history, but that’s only four schools. The rest were voting in their own self-interest. They could have kept those games and the rest of us rotated. That was brought up but voted down.
“I’m not pushing for the self-interest of LSU. I’m pushing for the equity.”
Of the four votes against the proposal, LSU president King Alexander was one. According to The Advocate, Alexander, Alleva and Miles “stand in full agreement.”