Correcting the SEC’s failure to create well balanced 2020 schedules

Fixing the SEC's failure to create balanced 2020 schedules

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The outcry from Arkansas followers was quick.

It started out as soon as Florida and Ga flashed up on the SEC Network as the Razorbacks’ two extra opponents in the 10-match, meeting-only slate for 2020 and only picked up steam as countrywide media weighed in.

“Arkansas is about to stay out the SMU loss of life penalty without being place on the dying penalty,” wrote Big Ten reporter Rainer Sabin on Twitter. “Could get a long time for Hogs to get well.”

“When looking at the whole puzzle – it is what the league would like you to do! – we never see the fairness in this decision at all,” wrote Sporting activities Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger. “Arkansas acquired the shaft.”

“Poor Sam Pittman,” wrote editor John Talty. “The excitable ‘Yes Sir!’ head coach acquired almost nothing but coal from commissioner Greg Sankey on Friday.”

The SEC claimed it was aiming for fairness. Sankey claimed in a statement that the meeting aimed to “create a plan that is as competitive as possible” and the SEC Network crew implored viewers to “look at the complete puzzle” and “think of it as a total.”

It is significant to note that stronger groups will have a weaker strength of agenda and vice versa – LSU does not have to participate in LSU and Arkansas doesn’t get to engage in Arkansas, soon after all – but that can be taken out when looking only at the crossover online games.

Two – a single long term, one particular rotating – were presently on each team’s timetable. Hunting at the whole puzzle and wondering of it as a entire would mean seeking at individuals, as perfectly as the two more types revealed Friday evening.

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On the floor, Arkansas and Missouri including the top rated two groups from the other division appeared to be the conference blatantly attempting to, as Dellenger set it, give them “the shaft,” though Alabama, LSU and Ga seemingly received favorable therapy from the meeting.

On even more inspection, although, the Tigers ended up already slated to perform Mississippi Point out and Arkansas. Those two educational institutions completed fifth and final, respectively, in the division and put together to go just 3-13 in convention play past calendar year, building it the easiest pair of formerly scheduled crossover games in the SEC.

Even soon after incorporating LSU and Alabama to its agenda, the merged meeting history of Missouri’s four SEC West opponents is just 17-15.

On the flip aspect, the Crimson Tide landed game titles from Kentucky and Missouri, two of the a few SEC East teams that went 3-5 in convention perform previous year. Even so, it’s vital to be aware that they by now experienced Ga and Tennessee – which finished first and 3rd, respectively, in the East last 12 months – on their routine. The combined SEC records of Alabama’s 4 cross in excess of opponents is really a difficult 18-14.

As superior of a work as the SEC did balancing individuals schedules, it completely botched some many others.

The Razorbacks had been presently scheduled to Missouri and Tennessee, and then picked up Georgia and Florida. Those four groups went a mixed 21-11 in SEC perform past time, building it by much the toughest crossover routine. It’s two online games more durable than South Carolina’s slate (19-13) and 3 game titles tougher than Alabama and Auburn’s slates (18-14).

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By introducing Missouri and Vanderbilt to its earlier scheduled online games in opposition to Florida and South Carolina, LSU’s crossover opponents have a just 13-19 merged document – which is tied with Mississippi State for the least difficult plan.

There is an eight-sport variation involving the hardest crossover program (Arkansas’ at 21-11) and the easiest (LSU and Mississippi State’s at 13-19). As noticed in the chart down below, there’s also a five-video game variance between the 2nd-hardest and next easiest slates.

With the addition of two more cross-division opponents, Arkansas became the only faculty who has all six of the SEC’s groups in the preseason coaches poll on its timetable. Not only that, but all six are among the the best 13 faculties.

“We by now owned the nation’s strongest 2020 football program and with these additions to our SEC only plan, we now personal the most hard routine in the historical past of school soccer,” Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said in a assertion.

Assuming the entire routine is performed, that may well not be hyperbole from the Arkansas Advertisement. But did it have to be that way?

Inspite of the SEC’s (alleged) want for a balanced plan, it arrived up very well small of that (alleged) goal. In only a couple of several hours and with out the aid of computer algorithms or fancy metrics, HawgBeat came up with a substantially more balanced plan.

In reality, our agenda underneath has just a 3-video game difference among the “toughest” and “easiest” specific slates.

The Razorbacks would nevertheless have one of the extra hard schedules, but rather of Georgia, they’d perform South Carolina. Their SEC opponents’ merged convention document from 2019 would be just 17-15, however, matching that of Ga, LSU, Ole Pass up, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

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Auburn, Florida and Mississippi Condition would have the least complicated slates, with their cross-division opponents obtaining matching 14-18 mixed conference documents.

Right here is what that would look like…

The only device we had at our disposal whilst generating this was a blank Excel spreadsheet that we stuffed in with each individual team’s beforehand scheduled crossover online games and then utilized to piece collectively the relaxation of the puzzle.

Definitely making use of the past season’s conference file isn’t the best way to determine the energy of schedule simply because teams alter from yr to calendar year. For illustration, will LSU be as dominant without Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow?

Just for entertaining, we also employed Monthly bill Connelly’s SP+ preseason ratings to come up with how tough the schedules are envisioned to be in 2020. We won’t trouble you with all of the figures, but we did lower the regular deviation – how much the schedules vary in issues – by about 4 percent.

And that was on our first attempt to redo the program. Offered the benefit of much more time and assets, it wouldn’t be astonishing if it could be tweaked even much more to even further harmony the crossover slates.

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About the Author: Seth Sale

"Passionate creator. Wannabe travel expert. Reader. Entrepreneur. Zombie aficionado. General thinker."

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