Auburn’s Gus Malzahn believes it’s the right move.
It’s no surprise there are varying opinions among the SEC’s 14 coaches about the league’s 6-1-1 scheduling format, which requires six games against division opponents, one permanent nondivision rivalry game and one rotating nondivision game.
Miles said the format hurts LSU because its rivalry game is against traditional power Florida, which leads to a harder schedule. But coaches like Malzahn believe keeping nondivision rivalry games – such as Auburn-Georgia – are more important than competitive balance.
Coaches discussed the SEC schedule and other issues during Wednesday’s spring teleconference.
“We look forward to playing everyone on our schedule, but to say this is the fairest and right way to pick a champion, I think that’s flawed,” Miles said.
The veteran LSU coach has been the most outspoken opponent of the current format, which the league’s coaches voted to keep on Sunday night.
Others agreed with Miles, including South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier. Both Miles and Spurrier believe an eight-game system that includes six division opponents and two rotating nondivision opponents is the best solution.
Alabama’s Nick Saban is in favor of a nine-game league schedule, though he appeared to be one of the few who supported that move.
Florida’s Will Muschamp didn’t seem to mind the annual game between the Gators and LSU. With only eight conference games in a 14-team league, he said any schedule would be unfair to some schools.
“There’s no perfect answer to please everyone,” Muschamp said.
All schools must schedule at least one nonconference game against a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12.
Most schools do that anyway. Only Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt don’t play a school from one of those leagues this season.