No Decision Made on Future SEC Football Schedules

By Kevin Kelley -

SECOn Wednesday, SEC athletic directors met in Nashville to discuss, among other things, future SEC football schedules. No decision was made on a scheduling model for 2013 and beyond.

There are several scheduling concerns that the SEC must address moving forward. Chief among them is whether to continue with an eight-game conference schedule or move to a nine-game slate.

Currently, the SEC plays an 8-game conference schedule and will do so for the 2012 season with 14 teams. Each team will play six divisional games, one permanent cross-division opponent and one rotating cross-division team.

The current format (6-1-1) allows for old rivalries to continue, such as Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee. But this model also means it would take 12 years for each team to play every team from the opposite division, compared to only five years under the old 5-1-2.

If the SEC decides to move to a nine-game schedule, they could go with a 6-1-2 format. That would allow the protected rivalries to continue and each team would play every other team home-and-home in six years.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said that “our top priority in the whole scheduling discussion is maintaining the rivalry with Auburn.” And Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said that conference realignment is “tampering with something that has made college football so special.”

What about the other SEC cross-division games? The consensus appears to be that those match-ups – Florida-LSU, Arkansas-South Carolina, Vanderbilt-Ole Miss, Kentucky-Mississippi State and Missouri-Texas A&M – don’t have as much tradition as the others and are expendable.

As Mr. SEC points out, a nine-game conference schedule makes sense for several reasons. An additional SEC game is more attractive for ticket buyers and television partners and old rivalries such as Auburn-Georgia could be saved.

But there are a few reasons some SEC schools won’t be in support of the change. Losing a home game every other year could hurt the bottom line, unless TV revenue makes up for it. And an extra SEC game over a non-conference game could be the difference in bowl eligibility.

More than likely, the SEC will eventually move to a nine-game conference schedule. How that happens and what format it will take is anyone’s guess.

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35 Comments to No Decision Made on Future SEC Football Schedules

  1. Beano said....

    that what happens when a conference gets too big……..Big East and A-10 basketball schedules are a joke. 12 teams in any conf. for any sport is plenty.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:06 am
  2. BAMAMAN12 said....

    WHAT WOULD CURE THIS PROBLEM IS TO MOVE ALABAMA & AUBURN TO THE EAST
    AND MISSOURI & VANDERBILT TO THE WEST. THAT WOULD KEEP THE TRADITIONAL
    RIVALS & HELP MISSOURI WITH THE TRAVEL PROBLEMS OF BEIING IN THE EAST.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:08 am
    • Beano said....

      that’s a good thought…….

      March 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm
    • gary said....

      i love it

      April 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm
    • hunterh said....

      What about this?

      East – Tenn, Vandy, Kentucky, Bama, Florida, Miss State, Auburn

      West – Mizzo, South Carolina, LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, Ole Miss, A&M

      keeps rivalries intact mainly, pretty balanced for football, maybe not so much basketball.

      August 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  3. BAMAMAN12 said....

    IT ALSO SEPERATES ALABAMA & LSU. THEY CAN STAY AT 8 GAMES AND JUST DO
    THE 6-2 FORMAT. EVERYBODY IS HAPPY.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm
  4. PNB said....

    Auburn offered to move to the East but Alabama didn’t like it so that is why Mizzou is in the east in the 1st place

    March 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm
  5. Mr. Apples said....

    They should realign to new divisions…

    SEC DEEP SOUTH: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina

    SEC NON-DEEP SOUTH: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

    (or)

    SEC NORTH: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

    SEC SOUTH: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M

    (or)

    SEC A-L: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU

    SEC M-Z: Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

    March 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm
  6. JR said....

    Just move Kentucky and Missouri to the West and Alambama and Auburn to the East. All old rivalries would be preserved and until Florida and Tennessee are back on their feet this would strengthen football in the East and Basketball in the West balancing the league. Alabama would not have to face LSU until the championship game which would be better for both, Arkansas would have room to solidify as a football power, and the Mississippi schools would get a break. It would provide nearer competition for Mizzou fans and give them their greatest two future rivals in basketball twice a year (Kentucky, and Arkansas) while leaving them a recruiting footprint in Texas when they play A&M. We still play just 8 conference games and everybody wins.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:40 am
    • BAMAMAN12 said....

      I AGREE WITH YOUR BASKETBALL THOUGHTS, BUT FOOTBALL IS DRIVING THIS BUS MORE THAN EVER.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm
  7. Richard said....

    Both UK and Vandy want to play Tennessee annually, so no, not all rivalries would be preserved.

    However, if it’s a case of sacrificing Vandy/Tenn or UK/Tenn instead of ‘Bama/Tenn & UGa/Auburn, I think it’s a pretty clear choice.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:54 am
  8. BAMAMAN12 said....

    KENTUCKY IS TOO FAR EAST TO GO TO THE WEST. VANDY WOULD BE THE BETTER CHOICE. DOES ANYONE THINK THERE WILL BE SOME RE-ALIGNMENT TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY ?

    March 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    • gary said....

      i’d love to see re-alignment (ALA/AUB to east, MIZZ/VAN to west) but remember: all of this is money driven….. if it makes common sense, they wont do it…..however if it makes financial sense to all these accounting gurus and number crunchers, they will do it in a heartbeat!!!! case in point: moving a&m and mizz to the conference in the first place, that was all about $$$$$

      April 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm
    • Kevin K. said....

      I fixed the comment for you.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm
  9. Skart said....

    Why does it take 12 years to play every team in the other division?

    If you play 1 of them every year, wouldn’t that leave six teams in the other division to rotate through in the 6-1-1 schedule?

    It must mean that it takes 12 years to play every other team home-and-home, or did I miss something?

    March 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    • BAMAMAN12 said....

      YOU ARE CORRECT !! IT WILL TAKE 12 YEARS TO GO HOME & HOME. BUT IT WILL BE BETTER FOR TV GAMES AT A CLOSER RATE.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm
  10. Jarrod Benton said....

    I think this whole add Mizzou, Texas A&M mess has hurt the SEC! They were not a big commodity. I don’t see the advantage of having them in the SEC considering neither one of them is in the SOUTH! I do not want to frustrate or offend any fans of theirs, but it just don’t to me (as a long time SEC fan, GBO) make sense to have moved them to the SEC. I’m not saying they won’t be able to build and compete in the SEC but it just wasn’t relevant for them to be relocated.. and to think it even has a chance of hindering our traditional rivalries just baffles and angers me, because SEC fans are a very strong, very important fan base that should not be toyed with and they enjoy their rivalries! not to mention that the teams of the SEC (excluding South Carolina) have been a part of the SEC for a long time and deserve to have their rivalries… even if that means Texas A&M and Mizzou loosing out on playing a fair SEC schedule and a non conference schedule because it is a right of passage. It’s kind of like me working a job and some new guy coming in and taking my job to bump me down the ladder. It’s insane!!!!!

    March 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm
  11. pa said....

    the 9 game conference schedule makes it the most sense.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm
  12. Jeff Willis said....

    The nine game format might work; if a neutral site could be found for the ninth game. That, in itself might be an impossibility!
    Currently, only four teams are actually playing any games at a neutral site. They are Georgia-Florida at Jacksonville and Arkansas-Texas A & M at Arlington. It’s not to say that it couldn’t happen. But would it be practical? And most importantly, financially feasible? Alabama and Tennessee have 100,000 plus stadiums. They would have difficulty playing anywhere but their Bryant-Denny and Neyland! But I could see Tennessee playing South Carolina annually at the Georgia Dome. It might also make sense for Mississippi to play L.S.U. at the Superdome. What about Kentucky playing Mississippi State at Nashville? Missouri would likely relish playing Vanderbilt at the Mid-American Dome. That would leave Alabama and Auburn and I don’t think either wants to return to Legion field. In short, this idea doesn’t work, except for a few teams. A better idea would be to leave it at 6-1-1 but perhaps make some switches where the games don’t involve deep rivalries. Ultimately, I think it will be nine game schedules because the SEC will probably expand again. For now, I would opt for leaving it at 6-1-1, and focus on proximity, history and preference. L.S.U. and Kentucky’s fans loved their series, primarily due to “thoroughbreds and Bourbon Street.” Florida and Texas A & M could be a huge “TV game” for the conference. South Carolina is closer to Starkville than Fayetteville, as is Fayetteville to Columbia, Missouri.

    April 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm
  13. gary said....

    i agree with BAMA_MAN on so many levels on this schedule thing….. My 2 fav teams are Alabama and Georgia…..under the current set-up my 2 fav teams wont get to play each other but twice every 12 years…that sucks… I think we ought to move to a nine game conf schedule, or better idea, re-align the divisions (ALA/AUB to east, VAN/MIZZ to west)

    April 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm
    • gary said....

      the only thing that sucks about the re-alignment idea….. LSU and Alabama will be split up again, and thats always the best SEC game of the season (in recent yrs) it has decided the SEC west

      April 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm
    • Billy Willy said....

      If Bama moved to the SEC East then LSU and Bama would still play each other every year. In the SEC Championship game. :)

      June 13, 2012 at 8:47 am
  14. bamaman12 said....

    Kevin, when will the new rotation come out ?
    After the game Saturday, Will Muschamp said he was glad Texas A&M
    wasn’t on their schedule next year. Someone else made a comment like that also. Do you think it’s already done & they’re waiting on something to let it go public ?

    September 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm
  15. JFR said....

    From someone who lives in Texas, went to school at Texas for two years before transferring and getting my degree at Tennessee (didn’t even have to buy new fan t-shirt).

    I think letting A&M into the SEC was the dumbest thing the SEC has ever done. All A&M has done in Texas was to create controversy after controversy, year after year. Get a new coach year after year, fire the poor schmuck the next year. The mood in the Aggie locker room is as depressing as having to visit your old aunt who keeps thinking your name is really Sarah and that you can play the piano and you can’t wait to get the hell out of there. The Aggies alumni antics, I am afraid are going to spread to other SEC schools.
    Wait and see. There antics did not go over well when there was a SWC, nor a Big-12 and now you have let this meddlesome bunch of oil millionaires who have more money than sense into the incredibly clean and upright SEC. Oh, No!

    September 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm
  16. aggieband said....

    As usual, your teasip ideas suck… nice prediction about how A&M would fare in the SEC, though. And how’s that Mack Brown thing in Austin workin’ out for ya’? Maybe you ‘Sips oughta fix things in your own backyard and leave the real schools alone to make their deasl without all the unwanted interference.

    And speaking of more money than sense, look in the mirror and let’s discuss the LHN for a minute… there’s a real success story. Texas football a thing of the past, basketball didn’t make the NCAA tournament, baseball finished LAST in the Big12… quite a legacy to be braggin’ about.

    May 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm