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Greg McElroy explains why the SEC should want to have a 9-game conference schedule

Greg McElroy looks to the crowd on set with ESPN
Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

Conference scheduling was one of the most significant topics at the SEC Coaches Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla.

Should the Southeastern Conference remain at eight conference games or move to nine in the regular season?

RELATED: Nick Saban in favor of playing all Power 5 games

The debate continues moving back and forth as there are pros and cons to both. A nine-game conference schedule gives a school three permanent opponents on its schedule. It would also make for more compelling matchups to engage fans. People crave entertainment, and few things offer it more than college football. A former University of Alabama quarterback offered his thoughts on what the SEC should do. Greg McElroy, a 2009 BCS National Champion, wants nine conference games.

“Here is why I loathe the eight-game conference schedule,” McElroy said via the Always College Football podcast.

RELATED: WATCH: Nick Saban hilarious reaction to his phone ringing at SEC meetings press conference

“What I got excited about with the nine-game conference schedule was the possibility of three permanent opponents. Because right now when I look at everything, let’s use this as an example. Let’s take Texas. If you did the three permanent rivals that they played every single year, right now it would be Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Arkansas. But in an eight-game conference schedule, you only get one permanent opponent. That would likely be Oklahoma. So that means I don’t get Texas A&M and Texas every single year. And that to me is a missed opportunity, because there’s one thing, the thing that moves the needle more than anything else in college football, it’s rivalries. The idea of Alabama and Tennessee going away is something that pains me to my core. A three + six model with a nine-game conference schedule makes all the sense in the world. You can preserve rivalries.”

McElroy makes a compelling point, and Nick Saban has been a proponent for nine conference games in the past.

Will the SEC go to this format? We shall find out what Greg Sankey does as the commissioner. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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