SEC head coaches and athletic directors are in Destin, Florida this week and the future football scheduling format of the conference is at the forefront of the discussions.
Yesterday evening, SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced that the conference will play an eight-game, 6-1-1 format football schedule in 2014 and likely 2015 also.
Slive states will have 8-game, 6-1-1 format in 2014. Probably 2015 as well.
— Chuck Dunlap (@SEC_Chuck) May 28, 2013
The 6-1-1 format was actually approved at last year’s meetings, and at that time Slive said the format would last for the next 3-4 years, maybe longer.
Under the 6-1-1 format, each team plays six inter-division games, one permanent cross-division game, and one rotating cross-division game. This format preserved the permanent cross-division rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn.
But the new College Football Playoff, which begins after the 2014 season, has the SEC discussing that format. Possible changes in the future include moving to a nine-game schedule and/or eliminating some or all of the permanent cross-division rivals.
Slive reiterated yesterday that the 8-game, 6-1-1 format will stay for the immediate future and likely in 2015 as well.
“We have a format. We have a 6-1-1 format,” Slive said. “Last year we voted overwhelmingly to do the 6-1-1 permanent [crossover divisional opponent] and one rotator. The discussion about that format and any other possible formats is a conversation that’s underway. So until that format changes that’s our format.
“We’ll leave here with that format, but I think there’s going to be a lot of discussion at all levels about whether that format should continue indefinitely.”
Slive also said that the 2014 SEC football schedule could be finalized this week. That schedule should be similar to 2013 except that the home sites will flip in the six division games and one permanent cross-division rivalry game.
The one game that is currently unknown for each team is the rotating cross-division game. Under the current format that began with the 2013 schedule, teams will play rotating cross-division games in succession rather than home-and-home in back-to-back years.
Other than the release of the 2014 slate, there probably won’t be many other future scheduling breakthroughs made this week. Most people think that changes, if any, to the SEC’s future scheduling format won’t happen until at least the 2016 season.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive officially announced today that the conference will play an 8-game schedule under the 6-1-1 format in 2014 and 2015.
Slive: SEC will conduct a review for future 2016 football schedules and beyond. 6-1-1 officially stays for '14 & '15.
— Jon Solomon (@jonsol) May 31, 2013