DESTIN, Fla. -- The conflict about whether to alter the conference scheduling format from eight to nine games will be at the forefront of discussions all week at the SEC meetings in Destin, Fla.
Georgia football head coach Mark Richt doesnt have a strong opinion either way with one catch: He just wants the Bulldogs to maintain their rivalry with Auburn.
The one thing I will say I would vote on is to continue to have a rivalry game with Auburn, Richt said Tuesday in a hallway at the Sandestin Hilton, reiterating his point a handful of times throughout the interview. I vote for us to continue to play Auburn. ... It truly is a rivalry game for us. Its over 100 years weve been playing them.
Asked whether being deprived of the game on occasion might make it more special, Richt shook his head and smiled.
Probably not, he said. I went to the University of Miami, and I was there when we played (Florida) every year. I think it was much more meaningful when we played every year than when it got taken from the schedule. ... Especially from a players point of view. You may play them, or you may not play them during your time at the school.
No decision is expected on the issue during the meetings this week, although it will be a hot topic for each of the four days. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was not available to give his opinion Tuesday.
While the long-term format may not be announced, there is some belief that schedules for the 2014 season could be released at the meetings. Currently, each SEC team plays six teams from within its division and its cross-division rival, meaning only one conference game is still undecided for the 2014 season.