The SEC has already been the ‘first’ to a lot of things in college football recently, most notably to the crystal ball over the last seven seasons.
Now, Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt believes his conference could wind up being the first in the nation to move from 14 teams to a 16-team ‘superconference’. However, don’t quote the man as a rumor-monger. He talked with Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald regarding further expansion in the SEC.
“I wouldn’t be shocked to see the teams go to 16 one day,” Richt said. “I’m not hearing any rumors. Don’t start any kind of, `Coach Richt said this,’ but I wouldn’t be shocked to one day see us go to 16. If we go to 16, I can’t imagine us not going to less than nine games. I think we would have to go nine.”
The nation’s most dominant conference moved from 12 to 14 schools with the additions of Mizzou and Texas A&M prior to the 2012 season. Those moves worked out extremely well. Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and the two new markets have provided new recruiting grounds and television markets for the other 12 teams in the league.
However, moving any further along than the current 14 brings issues with scheduling. There are only so many games in a college football season and there is no preseason. If SEC teams are forced to basically move into the gauntlet of their conference schedule right away, losses could result and no team in the league would have the chance to play for a national title.
“These other schools have nine but they’re not going to have that 10th game that is a team that is BCS-quality or ACC-quality or whatever you want to say,” Richt said. “I wouldn’t be shocked to see that happen. I voted against it because if we have nine, plus Tech and then if we want to do something like Clemson like we did this year, you’re talking about 11 out of 12 games that are pretty stout.”
It would be tough to play cupcakes like Georgia Southern, Wofford or whomever else if the SEC were to move to 16 teams. With that being said, it would sure make some great television viewing for us fans.