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What Would Happen to Mississippi State Football If the SEC Got Rid of Divisions?

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Bill Connelly and Jason Kirk have concocted a crazy, alternate universe where Auburn is one of our permanent rivals and nobody can ever win the SEC West again. Does this benefit Mississippi State in any way?

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

What’s this? The SEC is getting rid of divisions?

No, not really. Jason Kirk and Bill Connelly wrote a hypothetical piece regarding the matter, however.

While talking about how dumb the Big 12's idea to have five-team divisions is, last week's Podcast Ain't Played Nobody proposed doing away with divisions entirely, for every conference.

The more we've thought about it, the more we've realized it's pretty much a perfect idea. We should get rid of divisions, and we should replace them with small groups of annual rivals.

Let's use the SEC as an example, since it has the most complicated issues at the moment. (We'll look at a couple other conferences later this week as well.)

First and foremost, here’s the charts explaining our permanent rivals:


Permanent opponents
Alabama Auburn  LSU  Tennessee 
Arkansas Missouri  Ole Miss  Texas A&M 
Auburn Alabama  Georgia  MSU 
Florida Georgia  SC  Tennessee 
Georgia Auburn  Florida  SC 
Kentucky Missouri  MSU  Vanderbilt 
LSU Alabama  Ole Miss  Texas A&M 
Missouri Arkansas  Kentucky  Texas A&M 
Mississippi State Auburn  Kentucky  Ole Miss 
Ole Miss Arkansas  LSU  MSU 
South Carolina Florida  Georgia  Vanderbilt 
Tennessee Alabama  Florida  Vanderbilt 
Texas A&M Arkansas  LSU  Missouri 
Vanderbilt Kentucky  SC  Tennessee 

And our schedules for even years:


Permanent opponents Even years
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
LSU
Missouri
Mississippi State
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas A&M
Vanderbilt

And odd years:


Permanent opponents Odd years
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
LSU
Missouri
Mississippi State
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas A&M
Vanderbilt

So, since we’re messing with hypotheticals, let’s take a look at what would happen with Mississippi State if this were to actually happen, shall we?

It’d Take Away The Challenge Of Winning The West

This is something that I see as both good and bad. I want to win the SEC West again, but I also recognize that if we don’t have to deal with Alabama, LSU, A&M, and Arkansas year in and year out, then it is possible that we’d get more wins here and there.

I’m not exactly saying that the SEC East is the weaker division, but I’d much rather have a stretch of Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee and take my chances with them. And, per Connelly and Kirk’s chart, we could get matched up with these teams more frequently.

The Auburn-Mississippi State matchup isn’t a bad one

Buuuutttt it also isn’t anything special. I’ve enjoyed watching these two teams go back and forth the past few years. There’s been some entertaining match-ups between the two, and as a whole the contests have been fairly equal, but I don’t know how I feel having a permanent rivalry with the team that helped produce one of the greatest atrocities that the college football world has ever seen.

And then there’s the Cam Newton thing. We're not talking about the Cam Newton thing. I’m still mad about the Cam Newton thing.

So while this could develop into more of a fun rivalry, I’m perfectly fine if it was not a permanent fixture on our schedule, per Kirk and Connelly’s creation.

So, what is the best situation for the Bulldogs?

There are certainly some interesting pros and cons to both. The schedule would likely balance out a bit and we wouldn’t get hit with a murderer’s row in late October through November as we have been prone to hit the past few seasons. But, as a whole, it may not be much of a true gain for the Bulldogs.

After all every year, you can bet your butt that there would be more of a forced importance on the "rivalry" between MSU and Auburn, and we would be forced to see more clips of Cam Newton and the 3-2 game. And nobody wants that.

So, what're your thoughts? Would this benefit us? Or would it feel like just more of what we have now?