SEC approves 6-1-1 Football Schedule Format, sets Cross-Division Rivals

By Kevin Kelley -

SECThe SEC has approved the 6-1-1 football schedule format for the foreseeable future, Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley announced today.

SEC presidents and athletics directors have been debating the future football schedule format this week at their Spring meetings in Destin, Florida.

The 6-1-1 format means that each SEC team will play six inter-division games, one permanent cross-division game, and one rotating cross-division game. That’s an 8-game SEC schedule, which the conference has played since splitting into divisions in 1992.

Beginning in 2013, each team will play the cross-division rotating team in succession, rather than playing home-and-home. In this scenario, each SEC team will play all of the other teams in the opposite division in six years rather than twelve.

Other options were a 6-0-2 format (six division games, no permanent cross-division games, two rotating cross-division games) and a 6-1-2 format (six division games, one permanent cross-division game, two rotating cross-division games). The latter would have required the SEC to play a nine-game conference schedule, but was met with resistance by several schools.

The schools most likely against a nine-game schedule are Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The natural rival for each of them lies out of conference (ACC) and they play yearly. Auburn President Jay Gogue said today that could put each of them at a “competitive disadvantage.”

The other issue is the yearly Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville. If the game were to remain at that site in a nine-game SEC environment, the Gators and Bulldogs would only have three SEC home games every other season.

How long will the SEC stick with the 6-1-1 format? SEC commissioner Mike Slive said today that the 6-1-1 will continue for at least the next 3-4 years, maybe longer.

Also confirmed today were the SEC permanent cross-division rivals. Arkansas will no longer play South Carolina on a yearly basis. Instead, the Razorbacks get Missouri while the Gamecocks will face Texas A&M. Here’s a look at the complete pairings (East – West):

  • Florida – LSU
  • Georgia – Auburn
  • Kentucky – Mississippi State
  • Missouri – Arkansas
  • South Carolina – Texas A&M
  • Tennessee – Alabama
  • Vanderbilt – Ole Miss


Comments (17)

I know this isn’t the best venue, but was any decision made on the SEC basketball tournament?

The no. 11 seed will play the no. 14 seed and the no. 12 seed will play the no. 13 seed in the first round. The top 10 seeds will get byes in the first round, while the top four seeds will get second-round byes as well.

The permanent basketball rivals will be Alabama-Auburn, Arkansas-Missouri, Florida-Kentucky, Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Texas A&M, Mississippi State-Ole Miss and Tennessee-Vanderbilt.

in 2016-17, when the teams ooc schedule aint filled, the sec WILL go to 16… and a partnership with another conference would be nice like the p12 and b10 have… right now i would say acc, but if fsu, miami, clemson, and louisville move to the big12, big 12/sec partnership would work.

If (for sake of argument) the ACC stays intact, who would the SEC take to move to 16?

Louisville and Tulane?

I wish the ACC would consider this. I’m not a fan of the 9-game conference schedule for the ACC (I also wish they’d realign the divisions).

Kevin, will ya’ll post the rotations when they come out ? I’m real interested on how all of that will shake out.

South Carolina said they wanted A&M instead of Arkansas because Arkansas holds a 13-7 series advantange. Spurrier was blunt in saying that. If Mizzou has to be in the SEC East, I’m glad the rivalry is in place. It will take a long long time but Arkansas will replace Kansas for Mizzou. Nobody in the SEC has replaced Texas for Arkansas yet.

Thank you, SEC, for having Missouri and Arkansas as permanent rivals, not only in football (starting with 2013, as cross-overs), but in basketball as well (starting in the Winter of 2013). Now, that’s what I call an excellent idea.

What A JOKE!! Only 8 conference games?? for a 14 team league! So some teams are played ONCE every 6 years…and some teams will play a home game against certain teams every 12 years. Yet they are in the same conference. The SEC is A Joke!!

It’s all about the money. Like all conferences, The SEC is selling their brand name to their consumers. Having four (4) non-conference games allow for more home games and as well allows for more teams to have a winning record (in part due to the weak schedule the SEC plays outside of conference), that in-turns allow for more bowl teams within The SEC. Just as it is in most if not all cases within College Sports and the NCAA all you have to do is follow the money trial to find out why decisions are made in the fashion they are. The SEC is all about the money and nothing else! (Can you blame them???)