The Alabama Crimson Tide have taken some heat lately due to quirks with the conference football schedule rotation.
Those quirks didn’t place Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina, the three strongest SEC East teams, on Alabama’s schedule in 2012 or 2013. Alabama last faced one of the East’s big three in 2011 when they traveled to Florida after hosting the Gators in 2010.
In 2009 and 2010, the Crimson Tide traded home-and-home games with South Carolina. Alabama last played Georgia in 2007 and 2008.
All three of those series occurred under the previous 5-1-2 format when the SEC was at 12 teams. Each team played the five other teams in their division, one cross-division permanent rival, and two cross-division rotating games.
With Missouri and Texas A&M added to the conference, the SEC now utilizes a 6-1-1 format which eliminated one of the cross-division rotating games. In turn, this lessened the possibilities for more marquee cross-division match-ups.
But according to Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News, that will change in 2014 for the Crimson Tide as they appear to be getting the Florida Gators.
Destin aftermath: hearing Alabama vs. Florida on the 2014 schedule rotation. Should know for sure in a week or two.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) June 8, 2013
Alabama would likely host Florida in Tuscaloosa in 2014 since they play their rotating cross-division opponent, Kentucky, on the road this season.
Last week, Hurt reported that Alabama had an 80% chance of playing Georgia in 2014. But today when asked about the increasing possibility of Georgia-Texas A&M in 2014, Hurt replied only that the Alabama-Georgia cross-division match-up has been pushed back to 2015.
Update: It appears that Cecil Hurt has deleted the Tweet where he indicated Alabama-Georgia has been pushed back to 2015. Below was the link.
The rumor of a Georgia-Texas A&M match-up heated up last month when UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said that their strength of schedule is “off the charts for the next two years” and that their West opponent in 2014 will be somebody “really good.”
If Alabama-Georgia is pushed back to 2015, that certainly opens the door for Georgia to play at Texas A&M in 2014. The Aggies are “really good” and Georgia likely wouldn’t play LSU since they host the Tigers this year.
Whatever the case may be, it looks like the “bridge schedules” in 2014 and 2015 are going to deliver some tantalizing match-ups in the SEC.