The Weekender: The SEC is Sticking with Eight-Game Conference Football Schedule, Big 12 Still Wants to Expand and Cincinnati Baseball Coach Scott Goggins Resigns

By 11W Staff on June 4, 2023 at 2:35 pm
Greg Sankey
Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel

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SEC Sticking with Eight-Game Conference Schedule in 2023 and 2024

With many conferences, including the Big Ten, switching to a nine-game conference schedule in recent years, the SEC won't be following suit even though they will be adding Oklahoma and Texas next year. The SEC will stick with an eight-game conference schedule until at least 2025.

The SEC is the best conference in college football, there's no arguing that. That doesn't mean that the conference's commissioner and teams shouldn't be ridiculed for sticking with an eight-game schedule and essentially having their ninth game of the season be against an FCS opponent rather than a conference opponent. If you are the best conference with the best teams, wouldn't adding an additional conference game give college football fans better football to watch in the fall?

In a conference that boasts about how tough the schedule is week in and week out, 12 of its 14 teams will play at least two non-Power 5 schools in 2023. Florida and South Carolina are the only two who will play 10 Power 5 opponents this year. Doesn't make much sense, does it?

This is excellent from The Athletic's Scott Dochterman:

I know what some of you are thinking. It’s working, so why change? That’s not really the reaction to have. Again, an extra SEC loss won’t hurt teams in the Playoff debate. And if it does, then it’s deserved like what happened to Ohio State in 2017 and 2018. The Buckeyes proved they weren’t Playoff material after they were decisively beaten at Iowa and at Purdue by double digits. But if the Big Ten still employed an eight-game schedule, Ohio State might not have played at Kinnick Stadium or at Ross-Ade Stadium in prime time.

Had Ohio State skipped those Big Ten road trips for another Group of 5 opponent, the Buckeyes would have taken up a CFP slot they wouldn’t have deserved. If Georgia or Alabama has a ninth SEC game at Missouri and gets upset, well, it’s because road life is tougher in the SEC than elsewhere. It might cost either team a slot but not a spot.

The Big 12 "Has a Plan" for Expansion

With the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA and the SEC adding Oklahoma and Texas in 2024, the Big 12 is also expected to make some significant changes as well. Although the conference is adding four new members – BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF – in time for college football season, it seems as though they aren't quite done yet.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said Friday that the conference has "a plan" and will continue to explore "all options and considerations at this point in time" when it comes to expansion, according to ESPN.

While the conference is losing two of its most national powerhouses in terms of football and gaining four others, the Big 12 could possibly look to add schools such as Gonzaga and UConn.

"We do see the upside in basketball moving forward for all the right reasons," Yormark said without mentioning any specific schools. "We think it's undervalued and there's a chance for us to double down as the No. 1 basketball conference in America, but football is the driver and we all know that.

"As we think about the future and ways to create value," he added, "there is always that option to decouple basketball from football to see if there's further value we can create for the conference."

Adding two basketball powerhouses seems like a smart move, but big-time football is where the money is made, especially in terms of television contracts. Gonzaga doesn't have a football program and UConn's football team hasn't won more than six games in a single season since 2010 and the Huskies have won three games or fewer seven times in that span. Adding Gonzaga and UConn as their "big splashes" would certainly be an interesting move, to say the least.

Cincinnati Baseball Coach Scott Goggins Resigns

Two weeks after two Cincinnati assistant baseball coaches were dismissed following an investigation into possible NCAA violations, Bearcats head coach Scott Goggins resigned on Wednesday.

This all stems from when Alabama head baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired on May 3 due to suspicious betting wagers that were made in Ohio on an Alabama baseball game in late April. According to multiple reports, the assistants were fired due to having contact with the same Indiana man who made those suspicious wagers.

With sports betting becoming legal throughout much of the United States, this certainly won't be the last time there is a suspicious betting activity involving coaches (and even players). With NIL, the transfer portal and now legal sports betting, it really is crazy to think of how much college sports have changed recently.


Michigan Gets Grand Spotlight For 2023 Season Opener on ... Peacock

The Wolverines will open their 2023 football season with a matchup against East Carolina broadcast exclusively on the illustrious streaming-only Peacock platform.


This era of one-dimensional Buckeye football should end in 2023. The Silver Bullets should be back this fall.

James Trotter and Andrew Lutschaunig Seize Redemption for Ohio State Men’s Tennis with Program's Second-Ever NCAA Doubles Championship

Just days after a crushing defeat in the NCAA men's tennis team championships, James Trotter and Andrew Lutschaunig seized redemption with a national doubles title.

What's Next?

  • Men's and Women's Track and Field: NCAA Championships, all day Wednesday through Saturday
  • 90 Days: Until Ohio State football kicks off the 2023 season against Indiana in Bloomington
  • 111 Days: Until Ohio State football travels to Notre Dame Stadium to play the Fighting Irish
  • 174 Days: Until Ohio State football gets revenge against Michigan in Michigan Stadium
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