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SEC Moving to 9 Conference Games?

Jim Wood

If you're a Dawgs Central subscriber, this is nothing new to you. We've been talking in our forum about how the SEC schedule should work once Texas and Oklahoma join the league. According to multiple reports, it sounds like the league has narrowed down the possible schedule formats to two. Both of these proposals will eliminate divisions, sending the two teams with the best record to the SEC Championship. But with no divisions, how do you know which teams a school will play each year?

Option 1 is a 1-7 rotation. This means the SEC would maintain an 8 game schedule. Each team would have 1 permanent opponent and 7 rotating. This would cut down on current issues like the fact that Georgia still has not played at Texas A&M since they joined the league, but it would also put an end to multiple rivalry games being played every year (Alabama/Tennessee and Georgia/Auburn just to name two).

Option 2 is a 3-6 rotation. This increases the conference games played in a season from 8 to 9 (which means teams will only play 3 non-conference games). The benefit here is you get to keep most of the big rivalry games, and that is why I prefer this model. If we lose the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, then what are we even doing?

So, going with option 2, I took a stab at who the permanent opponents would be for each team. Here were my parameters for choosing the permanent foes, in priority order.

  1. Preserve each team's main, geographic rival.
  2. Preserve as many traditional rivalries as possible
  3. Prioritize geography over parity

With that said, this is what I came up with:


Let's take a quick look at what rivalries this model keeps and loses.

Annual Rivalries Preserved

  • Georgia/Auburn
  • Alabama/Tennessee
  • Florida/Tennessee
  • LSU/Ole Miss
  • Texas/Oklahoma
  • Auburn/LSU

Annual Rivalries Lost

  • LSU/Florida
  • Georgia/Tennessee
  • Alabama/LSU

I'm sure I didn't get this 100% right, but this is how I'd do it. This is a little different from what I posted on the Dawgs Central forum, but I got some feedback that I was missing a couple games and made some adjustments. How did I do? Are there any changes that you would make if this was up to you?

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Edited by Jim Wood

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