Miles: Division games should decide all
LSU coach’s message to A&M, Mizzou: ‘Strap it up’
Death, taxes and Les Miles sound bites.
Those are three of the surest things in life, and Tuesday at The Club in Birmingham, Ala., the Mad Hatter didn’t disappoint.
When commenting on the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, Miles summed it up as only Miles could, as reported by Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News.
“I would say strap it up,” Miles said. “They’re going to really not enjoy their welcoming to this conference.”
Strap it up, indeed.
But the expansion of the league to 14 teams also brings up an interesting debate.
Miles is among a rising number of people, including several league coaches, who feel that record against division foes should be the only games used to crown a division champion. That means that (in the new format with six division games and two crossover games) the coach would like for LSU’s games versus the Eastern Division (as well as everyone else’s crossover games) to not count in the SEC standings.
“Whoever’s playing Alabama and LSU on the other side, they’re playing a very difficult opponent year in and year out and their opportunities to win their division will be reduced by the percentage of times they finish second in that game,” Miles said, according to the Birmingham News.
It must be pointed out that no American professional sport disregards conference games as if they were non-conference games, nor uses only division games to crown a division champion. On the other hand, however, no American professional sport has an unbalance like the SEC is slated to have where every team will not play five teams within its league.
“I want the schedule to be fair and I want it to give everybody the same opportunity,” Miles said, according to the Birmingham News. “I’m for the Western Division deciding the Western Division champion and the Eastern Division deciding the Eastern Division champion.”
Of course, this train of thought will foster debates regarding whether the league should even have crossover games, locked crossover games (ex: LSU vs. Florida; Alabama vs. Tennessee, etc.) or if the league should expand to nine-conference games.
The league’s representatives will hold their annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla. May 29-June 1 and discuss the issues above, among a bevy of other topics made necessary by the addition of two more teams. It is incredibly unlikely the SEC will adopt any changes for the 2012 season, but a main focus of the meetings are to adopt a permanent schedule and system for crowning a champion moving forward.
Check back to TigerRag.com for information from the SEC spring meetings, because we should know a lot more about the future of the league in a month.
Also, special thanks to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News. CLICK HERE to read his full story.