Will Muschamp 'fine' with imperfect SEC scheduling
LSU coach Les Miles is still unhappy about it. Florida coach Will Muschamp has moved on.
The SEC's decision to retain the current eight-game format in conference scheduling and keeping permanent cross-division rivals remains controversial among the league's coaches, but Muschamp said he believes it was the best compromise to a tough situation.
"I’m not sitting here trying to tell you it’s fair, but it’s what the league has decided," Muschamp said during today's SEC coaches spring teleconference. "I’ve been in this league a long time as a player, assistant coach, a head coach and you could kind of see that there’s going to not be some change and there’s a lot of resistance toward the change. I’ve said my piece and you move on. I've embraced the LSU rivalry here at the University of Florida and whatever other Western division opponent they want us to have every year.
Under the current system, Florida and LSU will remain permanent cross-division opponents, which means they'll meet annually. Miles and LSU athletic director Joe Alleva have reiterated this week their belief that the permanent opponents system is unfair.
Florida president Bernie Machen voted in favor of the measure, and Muschamp said he's okay with it
"It’s fine with me," he said. "I was for eight games, whether it was the 6-0-2 format or 6-1-1 format. It isn’t all fair all the time, and that’s part of it. When you’re in a league and you’ve got 14 universities represented, that’s what commissioner Slive does. And he and his staff make a decision on what’s best for the majority of the conference, and whatever format they went with eight games I was going to be good with. We’ve got a great rivalry = and I’ve been on both sides of it – with Florida and LSU. It’s an exciting game, it’s a national game, certainly a game that I know Les enjoys and I do as well. And then having another opponent on the West is fine."
Muschamp is disappointed in one aspect of the scheduling: that Auburn won't be a regular opponent.
"The disappointing part of that to me, growing up in this league, is not being able to see the Florida-Auburn game continue on a regular basis, or at least being able to see that two or three times (every few years)," Muschamp said. "If you went to a 6-2 format, coach (Steve) Spurrier my first year down in Destin (at SEC spring meetings), made the comment to me what a great rivalry that’s been over the years. And when you look at some of the games, and having been involved in both sides of that rivalry, I understand the importance of that. You look at Tennessee and Auburn, they hardly ever play anymore because of the scheduling. But there’s no perfect answer to please everybody. We did what was best for our league. We all have a hidden agenda whatever university we represent. And it’s about what’s best for the SEC and that was the decision that was made, so I support it."
but will add a strength-of-schedule component thatwill requre member schools to play an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis.
Because Florida annually plays Florida State, which is in the ACC, essentially nothing changes for the Gators.
The Gators will also remain permanent cross-division rivals with LSU, which is in the SEC West.