The New SEC Schedule Model
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The SEC Spring meetings are taking place in Destin, Florida.
The big topic on the agenda was adopting a scheduling model for the conference.
Oklahoma and Texas formally join the SEC in July of 2024, but were allowed to be a part of the meetings in Destin.
It appears that the SEC will adopt an 8-game conference scheduling format for 2024 where each team will play one permanent opponent annually and play a 7-game rotation with the remaining teams. This format after 2024 has yet to be determined according to commissioner Greg Sankey.
Football matchups for the 2024 season will be released on June 14 on the SEC Network, without exact dates.
Other topics were discussed as well, like tampering, NIL future, etc. but let us not kid ourselves, the thing fans are interested in is the proposed scheduling model.
Some schools wanted a 9-game model, but it appears that the 8-game advocates won out during this round of discussions. Based on the projected model here are my predictions on permanent opponents:
Alabama: Auburn. The Iron Bowl will not be touched. The Third Saturday of October annually with Tennessee is a casualty of this model. Thanks Nick!
Arkansas: Missouri. I’m guessing the Razorbacks were for the 9-game format with 3 permanents so they could renew the Texas rivalry, but that did not come to pass.
Auburn: Alabama. Iron Bowl is the best rivalry game in College Football. Under this format the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry game with Georgia is a casualty of this model. What a damn shame!
Florida: Georgia. The Cocktail Party will continue annually, but where after 2025?
Georgia: Florida. The Dawgs wanted the 9-game model.
Kentucky: South Carolina. Must watch TV, right? NOT!
LSU: Texas A&M. The Florida and Alabama games annually are victims of this model.
Mississippi State: Ole Miss. The Egg Bowl lives on
Missouri: Arkansas. This manufactured rivalry game has no appeal.
Ole Miss: MSU. The Egg Bowl is intense, but the long-standing LSU game is gone.
Oklahoma: Texas. Red River Shootout in Dallas comes to the SEC.
South Carolina: Kentucky. The Gamecocks lose their biggest SEC rival in UGA.
Tennessee: Vanderbilt. Vols are jumping for joy with this automatic W but lose Alabama annually.
Texas: Oklahoma. Welcome to the SEC Horns!
Texas A&M: LSU. I’m thinking the Aggies wanted Texas and the 9-game model.
Vanderbilt: Tennessee: In-state rival.
Gone are the two divisions and teams with the two best conference records play for the SEC Tile in 2024.
All the other major conferences play a 9-game schedule. The SEC is going to take a lot of criticism in the press with the scheduling model, but as the commissioner said 65-7 in the latest national championship game tells you where the balance of power is in college football.
Let the debates begin on who the permanent opponent will be. Texas or Oklahoma coming to Athens would be a treat for Dawg fans. A road trip to Austin would be next level also.