SEC announces future scheduling format


The Southeastern Conference ended the future scheduling speculation today.

The league announced the current 6-1-1 model — six division games, one permanent cross-divisional game and one rotating divisional game — will remain in 2016 and beyond.

The only minor change will be that every SEC team has to add a “Big 5” opponent from either the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac 12 beginning in 2016.

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“This has been a thoughtful and deliberative process that has resulted in maintaining the current format and adds a provision that will bolster our collective annual non-conference schedule,” said Commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement. “Critical to maintaining this format is the non-conference opponent factor which gives us the added strength-of-schedule we were seeking while allowing continued scheduling flexibility for institutional preferences, and acknowledges that many of our institutions already play these opponents.

“The concept of strength-of-schedule is based on an entire 12-game schedule, a combination of both conference games together with non-conference games. Given the strength of our conference schedule supplemented by at least one major non-conference game, our teams will boast of a strong resume’ of opponents each and every year.”

The permanent cross divisional rivalries are as follows:

  • Alabama (West) vs. Tennessee (East)
  • Arkansas (West) vs. Missouri (East)
  • Auburn (West) vs. Georgia (East)
  • LSU (West) vs. Florida (East)
  • Ole Miss (West) vs. Vanderbilt (East)
  • Mississippi State (West) vs. Kentucky (East)
  • Texas A&M (West) vs. South Carolina (East)



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  • This is the worst possible outcome for most SEC fans. By sticking with 8 games and permanent rivals, it will take 12 years to play every team in the current SEC. With an 8 game schedule f you just rotated teams from the opposite division it would be 5 years. Its a real shame to play in the best conference, but rarely play 42% of the league.

    • Well, technically, it will be every six, as there you will no longer play the rotating cross-division opponent home & away in consecutive years. However it will be once every 12 years that you’ll get to travel to away games for the rotating cross-dvision teams. That sucks.

      • What are you worried about, Ole Miss and Miss St got the two weakest East teams as permanent opponents?!

        • Not worried about anything. Actually don’t want to play Vandy each year. I would rather that Ole Miss play UGA, UF, UT, or Carolina more often. I see that reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

        • You think we like playing UK every year? Over the years we have showed we can hang with the “Big Boys” from the east. Not win every one of them but still put a fight.

  • I prefer this result to expanding the number of games or losing long-lasting traditions such Auburn vs. Georgia/LSU vs. Florida/Alabama vs. TN.

    It really doesn’t matter at all to me that Georgia misses the other West Division teams.

  • I’m of mixed feelings about this—I think this was the worst possible outcome. For most of the East teams, this means nothing. For the West, we may see a minor bump up in games played, but most of them will most likely lead to the same subpar matchups as Alabama vs West Virginia as a neutral site game rather than an Alabama–Oregon home-and-home series. If it was mandated that two games had to be “Big 5” and that they had to be home-and-home, I’d feel much better about it.

    On the other hand, as a Vandy fan, I’m pleased with the short-term nature of the decision—we still have some team building to do, and the current setup allows us to continue to do that. For us, we would hardly be regularly favored in any SEC matchup that we don’t already play annually other than maybe Mississippi State.

    Overall, bad decision. I think that a 6–1–1+2 (Big 5)would be best. That would still mean Vandy could schedule a team like Kansas, Duke, or Wake Forest while Georgia continues with Georgia Tech and Clemson (kudos to them, I think they did a really good job with that—everyone else follow their example!) etc. We’ll see how this goes once we see how the Playoff committee handles things.

  • so, this has no impact on teams like Georgia or Florida who already play a regular game against a big 5 opponent? Boring.

  • Since when has Vandy been favored over State???? Better yet when have they been favored over anybody???? Just go ahead and pencile in a loss every year cause Ole Miss has your number.

  • Maybe MIZZOU can play the Chickenhawks (KU)again

  • Well, from a competitive standpoint, this was probably the best possible outcome for Ole Miss. However, for me as a fan, I was hoping that we would go to a 9-game conference schedule. If we had to stay with 8, then abandon the permanent cross-division games & have 2 rotating cross division games. Other than those 4 fanbases, no-one gave a damn about UGA-AU or Bama-UT. As it now stands, as a fan, I’ll get to attend a game in Neyland Stadium or Sanford Stadium or the Swamp once every 12 years. Those are fun away games for a fan. Now, in an effort to preserve 2 games, my opportunities to travel to certain SEC East stadiums will be more than a DECADE apart. Thanks Slive……

  • It they insist on 8 games they should use the Roommate Switch format: it keeps the traditional rivalry games intact, you play the whole conference every 2 years, in an 8-game schedule while maintaing round-robin divisions per ncaa rule. Yes it can be done:

  • Don’t understand why Bama fans can’t understand this isn’t about who LSU has to play, its about who Bama doesn’t play. LSU loves playing Florida, it’s a game the fans on both sides look forward to every year.

  • This sucks. I wanted at least the 6-0-2. I honestly don’t care about playing TN every year anymore. We’ve beat them every year since like 2006. I’d rather play two big SEC East teams. But what I really wanted was Saban’s idea of 9 conference games and a required major out of conference game. That would have been great to spark interest for the fans.

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