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The SEC rolls on even with changes on the Horizon

In 1992, the Southeastern Conference made at that time, a bold and uncharacteristic move for college football by splitting the conference into two divisions and having a championship game to determine the conference champion.

Many coaches are worried that playing an additional game after playing a tough eight-game league schedule would put SEC teams at a big disadvantage when it came time to try to win the national championship.

At the time, there were coaches that suggested the conference could forget about having a say in future national championships.

The first year the SEC instituted its championship game Alabama had a 13-0 season and won the national championship for the first time in 13 years. Even more impressive is that of the last 21 national champions since then, 11 are from the SEC, including the last seven consecutive.

It is easy to say now that the big changes made by the SEC in 1992 did not push the conference into football obscurity.

Now the conference teams are not sure if a proposed change to a 9-game conference schedule will help or hurt the conference and its members.

The conference coaches voted overwhelmingly 13-1 to keep the conference schedule at 8 games and it will be kept there at least through 2014 and possibly 2015, but many feel the 9-game conference schedule will come about sooner than later.

Nick Saban, the head coach at Alabama has pushed to have the conference schedule increased to nine games. He believes that once the new college playoff format arrives in 2014, the strength of a team’s schedule will be of great importance, with whom you beat and where taking precedence and helping to ensure a team makes it into the last group of four teams.

Saban says that for the SEC to have more than one conference member in that last group of four teams, the conference schedule must increase to nine games.

LSU coach Les Miles is pushing to keep the eight game conference schedules, but do away with cross divisional opponents and play six teams from the division each season and two from the other division on a rotating basis.

That however, would end up creating problems with the schools that have had longtime rivalries such as Alabama versus Tennessee and Georgia and Auburn.

Changes are on the horizon, but there has been change before and it turned the SEC into the powerhouse conference it is. In 2013-14, it looks as though the SEC will also have one or possibly two members fighting for the national title.

The SEC will just continue to roll on with or without change to the conference scheduling and this season will be looking for an eighth consecutive national champion from its ranks.

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