Every other season, two of Auburn’s final three regular season games are on the road against Georgia and Alabama. One can see why this would be a biannual cause of concern for the Tigers.
Traveling to face their two biggest rivals in even numbered years, Auburn stands little chance of making it out of November with SEC title or playoff hopes alive.
Auburn apparently has had enough of this schedule imbalance and athletics director Allen Greene has an idea to change it, and he plans on presenting it to the SEC.
Greene said he would like to do one of two things. Either move the Georgia game to earlier in the season or amend the schedule to result in Auburn visiting Athens in odd years instead of even ones. Neither of these changes would take place until the current SEC rotation comes to an end following the 2024 football season.
“It’s complicated,” Greene told Auburn Undercover, “and if I’m thinking just of Auburn then the simple fix is to spread them out and to move them home and away, but I know it’s more complicated than that. Really what we’re trying to do is find the solution for Auburn and the best solution for the league.”
Auburn’s problem began when the SEC expanded to 14 teams, adding Missouri in Texas A&M in 2012. As a bridge plan for two years in 2012 and 2013, Auburn hosted Georgia in back-to-back years. Since then, the Tigers have been getting the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs either at home or on the road in the same year.
“That needs to be done,” Malzahn said in his radio spot on May 10. “In 2010, we had them split when we won the national championship, so I’d prefer that.”
In May, at the SEC’s Spring Meetings, Kirby Smart was asked about this topic as well, and he pointed to a simple fix. Georgia visited Auburn twice, so Auburn should visit Georgia twice.
“If we get a chance to fix that and return the favor that we paid to them. I hear about that a lot,” Smart said while in Destin, Florida in May. “I think it can make it more consistent. It can balance things out. It would probably be helpful in the long run, but I’ve got a feeling there’s more to it than just us and them.”
It’s a complicated order for Auburn, and SEC consultant Larry Templeton outlined what it would take to make this is a possibility.
“One of the two institutions would have to agree to go on the road for two consecutive years,” Templeton told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Then we’d have to get another institution to flip its home game to a road game. If it were to happen, that’s how we would hope it would happen.”
But then again, every other year, this also means Auburn hosts both Georgia and Alabama in the month of November. We don’t seem to hear any complaints from the Plains in odd numbered years.
There are several moving parts that need to be satisfied for Auburn to get its wish, but I know it doesn’t happen unless the Tigers return Georgia’s favor and play back-to-back years in Athens.