SEC to discuss future football schedule format at Spring meetings

By Kevin Kelley -

SECThe 2012 SEC Spring meetings begin today at the Sandestin Hilton in Destin, Florida One of the topics this week will be the future schedule format for football.

Over the weekend, SEC schedule guru and consultant Larry Templeton indicated that the conference will likely go with the 6-1-1 format. This format means each team plays six divisional games, one permanent cross-division opponent and one rotating cross-division team.

The 6-1-1 model is what the SEC is using in 2012 after expanding to add Missouri and Texas A&M.

“I’ve been around this (SEC) group enough to know that when they get together for four days there’s a lot of things that change from Tuesday to Friday,” Templeton said, chuckling. “But I wouldn’t look for a lot of change in the permanents if truly the 6-1-1 is what we end up with.”

The 6-1-1 format allows for historical rivalries to continue, such as Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee. But this model also means it will take 12 years for each team to play every team from the opposite division, compared to only five years under the old 5-1-2.

Another option for the 6-1-1 format is to play each team from the other division in succession, rather than playing one team home-and-home and then moving to the next team. In that scenario, each SEC team could play all of the other teams in the opposite division in six years rather than twelve.

The SEC should also set the permanent cross-division rivals this week. Based on comments made back in March, Arkansas will partner with Missouri while South Carolina will pair with Texas A&M. If that holds true, here is what the seven cross-division pairings will look like (East – West):

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

After the 6-1-1 format and permanent cross-division rivals are agreed upon, Templeton needs to know how many years he can schedule that format. That could range anywhere from one to 13 years.

If the SEC does release a scheduling format for future seasons, we expect it to list the opponents for each year but not the dates. That is how the conference has historically released their football scheduling information.

Comments (20)

Damn. I would’ve liked to see Mizzou-A&M and South Carolina-Arkansas as permanent rivals.

An annual Arkansas – Missouri game is a natural being neighboring states. The Hogs have nothing in common with SC except both came into the SEC together in 1992.

So Florida will play Alabama (as one example) once every 6 years. Or to look at it another way, Florida will visit Tuscaloosa once every 12 years.

Also I agree with Kro, are better long term matchups.

Mizzou-A&M would be better in my opinion. A&M has about as much in common with SC that Arkansas does, except both of them entered the SEC 20 years ago. A&M-Mizzou makes sense to me since they are both entering the SEC at the same time and both came from the Big 12.

SC is not an obvious match for either Arky or A&M. Mizzou borders Arky so that makes the most sense. Everyone else wants to keep their partners.

Haha. SEC still hides behind an 8 game schedule despite softening up their conference with Mizzou & Aggie. Meanwhile, everyone else heads towards 9 conference games. Can’t wait for more Mizzou v Florida & less Bama v Florida. Should be awesome!

The Dude is right on. The SEC continues to hide from the tougher non conference opponents and pads their conference schedule with an eight league schedule. Hard to give The SEC much love with their approach.

Let’s see…Alabama vs. Michigan, Ole Miss vs. Texas, LSU vs. Washington, Auburn vs. Clemson, Florida vs. Florida State, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, S. Carolina vs. Clemson, Tennessee vs. NC State and even Vandy vs. Northwestern and Wake Forest. What is the SEC hiding from again??

Theyre Hiding from a full schedule. B12, P12, & soon ACC already play 9 conference games AND meaningful ooc games as well.

Hey, when was the last time Florida played an ooc game outside their state? 1990? 1991? Keep loading up on patsies, avoiding conference losses, and be sure to play 99% of your ooc & bowl games in the deep south.

Don’t forget to oversign and hand out 35 scholarships this offseason before kicking out the 20 who underperform so you can sign 35 more next offseason. The rest of us will continue to play within the limits & decency of the rules. S-E-C! S-E-C! LMFAO.

Bill, Really…. This is the best a conference of 14 teams can pull up to test themselves? The SEC plays 56 non-conference games and only 8 are being played at their opponents home field. I know it’s all about the money, but don’t kid yourself in thinking The SEC is not hiding. The majority of the conference’s schedule is made-up of opponents such as; Buffalo, Georgia Southern and State, Presbyterian, Wofford, Samford, Jacksonville State, Idaho, Towson, Southern Alabama, Sam Houston State, South Carolina State, Central Arkansas, South Alabama, and Alabama A&M to name a few. LSU and Alabama are truely the only schools that continue to test themselves to some degree outside the conference. I agree with The Dude and Chuck, The SEC can do better and maybe having a 9 game conference schedule may show more of what is within the conference.

Wait’ll they go to 16 teams. Some cross-division teams will never play unless it’s in the SEC championship.

Jeff B, I didn’t list Missouri vs. Ariz. State and Syracuse (since you want to talk all 14 teams)or the fact that TAMU and Arkansas signed a 10 year series (at Jerryworld) but now play in the same conference so on short notice Ark picked up Rutgers, not great but BCS conference. As for all of those 1-AA schools (FCS) pretty much every team in a BCS conference has gone to at least one per season so putting that all on the SEC is weak. Also, if you look at the Sun-Belt schedules, there are more than just SEC teams on there. Look, I’m no fan at all of the 1-AA games. But the regular 8 game SEC schedule is tougher than 9 in the ACC for instance.

Hey, Dude. Check your rules. SEC only allows 25 offers per class now. New rule. Also, they only allowed 28 for about the last 3-4 years prior. As for the bowl games, we play them where they are. I guess playing a January bowl game in Orlando or New Orleans just has a slight appeal over Bismark or St. Paul.

It’s a new rule. In 3 more years it’ll begin to have an effect.

Go look at Houston Nutts signing class at Ole Miss.

Go look at how Saban put players on medical scholarships at 3-4 times the national rate in order to clear room for his next “stud recruit”. Signing 25-28 players every year means you’re cutting the “misses” somewhere because you can’t hold 100-112 scholarship players.

Just more dirty dealing in the SEC.

Glad to see the Hogs-Mizzou Match-Up. Glad to see all the bordering state games Arkansas has in the SEC West. Concerning all the above statements about the current 8 game SEC Schedule. Most SEC Teams have their remaining 4 games contracted through the 2016 season. It would be extremely costly to break any of those contracts. I think the SEC will go to 9 games soon. I don’t think SEC Teams dodge anybody. You out of conference gooses keep dreaming that.

No Dude, Bill is exactly right. The Rule was nicknamed the Nutt Rule around the SEC. Three or Four years ago it was ruled a strict limit of 28 Signed allowing for 3 possible none academic qualifiers. That Rule was strengthen to a strict 25 Signed with no allowance for NAQ’s for the last February 2012 Class.

Me rule will have an effect going forward. It doesn’t change that over signing and cutting scholarship players greatly helped the SEC.

In an era where you’re only allowed 85 scholarships at any one time from 2008-2011 these were the number of SEC scholarships given out.
Ole Miss – 120
Auburn – 113
Arkansas – 111
Alabama -107
South Carolina – 106
Miss State – 102
LSU – 101
Kentucky – 99
Tennessee – 91
Georgia – 88
Vanderbilt – 84
Florida – 85

Highlights include signing classes of Arkansas-30 & S.Carolina-32 in 2011. Auburn-32 in 2010. Arkansas-31 & Ole Miss-37 in 2009, Alabama-32 & Ole Miss-31 in 2008.

This means a team like Auburn had to clear out about 7 players with eligibility left per year to make room. Or about 25% of their average signing class needed to be disposed of early.

Color me skeptical of the SEC & it’s 25 player “limit” rule.