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Malzahn opposes 14-week regular-season


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Auburn's Gus Malzahn opposes potential 14-week regular-season schedule


Updated on May 31, 2017 at 4:31 PMPosted on May 31, 2017 at 4:06 PM




By Tom Green


As the SEC explores the possibility of expanding the regular season to a 14-week model, there appears to be some pushback against the idea.

Auburn's Gus Malzahn told reporters at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., on Wednesday that he is against the potential expansion of the regular season from 13 weeks to 14 weeks, a model that would add a second bye week for all teams.

"Me personally, I'm not for the two bye weeks," Malzahn said. "I don't think there were a whole lot of coaches for that. I like the one bye week. I think it's working."

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on Tuesday that the league was having conversations this week about expanding the calendar to "see where that lands" in response to a newly introduced concept from the NCAA Oversight Committee. That committee in January recommended expanding the season to a mandatory 14 weeks each year and has approached its member conferences for feedback.

The new model would likely require the start of the season being pushed back a week earlier than it typically would be -- rather than pushing it beyond most schools' academic calendar -- and adding an additional week to the regular-season schedule. While teams would maintain a 12-game regular-season slate each year, the second bye week would allow for more in-season rest for players as well as more freedom for schools in scheduling games.

As it stands, teams have one bye week each season, though some years there are programs that have two weeks off during the year. That was the case for Auburn in 2013, Malzahn's first year, when the Tigers won the SEC Championship and came within 13 seconds of winning the national title. Auburn had a bye week in Week 5, between games against LSU and Ole Miss, as well as one in Week 13 between rivalry games at home against Georgia and Alabama.

While the additional bye week could benefit players' ability to recover during the season, Malzahn believes the added week is against the players' best interest.

"It'd make the calendar longer for the players," Malzahn said. "Sometimes from the player standpoint, a bye week isn't easy. The resting is great, but everything that goes into it, there's a lot to think about. Two bye weeks prolongs the season."

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