This Saturday will be Texas A&M’s 63rd game inside SEC conference play, and the program’s first against Georgia. The Aggies joined the league, and it took until the second-to-last game of their eighth season to finally play one of the SEC’s cornerstone programs. A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC to play schools like Georgia, like Alabama, like Tennessee, and yet their former Big 12 foes Texas and Oklahoma actually met Uga before Reveille will. (Bevo’s meeting with college football’s most famous pooch didn’t go so well.)
Texas A&M had better enjoy its game with Georgia, because it’s the only one they’ll get for a long time. While it took until Year 8 for the Aggies to finally go between the hedges, Georgia won’t make its first trip to Kyle Field until 2024, Year 13 in the SEC for A&M.
It shouldn’t be this way. It doesn’t have to be this way. More importantly, it might not be this way for much longer. That’s according to none other than Jimbo Fisher, who let this slip during his weekly press conference.
“I know they’re looking at some formats going forward that keep the three main and rotate five and all those things,” Fisher said. “I think it is good for your players, eventually, to play everybody in the conference. I really do believe that…. When you have conferences as big as you have now, that’s kind of the way it goes.”
This means one thing and one thing only: Jimbo is a FootballScoop reader.
Okay, we don’t know that, and I’m not the first person to buy into the 3/5 model and the #BanDivisions movement, but we now know that Jimbo has grabbed his pitchfork and joined Dan Mullen and the rest of us in the march.
For the uninitiated, the SEC could — and should — scrap divisions and move to a 3/5 model in which each school plays three permanent rivals annually and the remaining 10 schools are broken into groups of five, which each school then plays every other year.
In Texas A&M’s case, the Aggies would get wannabe rival LSU, actual Southwest Conference rival Arkansas and former Big 12 bunk mate Missouri (let’s be honest, the Tigers are on an island in the SEC and need friends). They would then play (for example) Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Auburn and Kentucky in even years and Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Mississippi State in odd ones.
This solution keeps the conference schedule at eight games — allowing most teams to continue playing seven home games and the league’s middle class to line up two (or three, or four) guaranteed wins, which many of them view as necessary for bowl eligibility. More importantly, it allows every SEC player to play in every SEC stadium within a 4-year career. It allows every SEC student to see every SEC opponent on their campus in the time it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree.
As opposed to know, when a Texas A&M freshman in 2012 could get her Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D. and practically become the university president by the time Georgia actually steps on Kyle Field.
Of course, this is all just one offhand comment at the end of a press conference. This is far from confirmation. But it’s something, and for those of us in the #BanDivisions movement, it’s manna straight from the fingertips of the Almighty himself.