The 2013 SEC Media Days kicked off today, and commissioner Mike Slive spoke briefly about the status of their future football scheduling discussions.
“For those of you who were with us in Destin this past spring, you’ll recall we spent a lot of time talking about football scheduling. The end result was a decision to commit the conference to a review of our scheduling format in anticipation of the 2016 season. This review will include whether or not to play an eight- or nine-game conference schedule and whether or not to retain permanent non-divisional opponents.
“In the meantime, until that review is complete, we will continue to schedule based on the current 6-1-1 format pending the results of that review.
“As I said this spring, the simple goal of this review, although it is not simple to do, is to select the format that is in the long-term best interest of the conference as a whole.”
At the SEC Spring meetings in Destin, Florida in May, Slive said that the conference would play an 8-game, 6-1-1 football schedule in 2014 and 2015.
“We’ll leave here with that format, but I think there’s going to be a lot of discussion at all levels about whether that format should continue indefinitely.”
Under the 6-1-1 format, each team plays six intra-division games, one permanent cross-division game, and one rotating cross-division game. This format preserved the permanent cross-division rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn.
But some schools, such as LSU, prefer not to keep their permanent rival (Florida) in the issue of fairness. Ditching the permanent rivals would also allow teams to cycle through opposite division games more frequently.
In addition, a nine-game conference schedule would also have cross-division games occurring more frequently. It would also possibly allow the permanent rivalries to remain intact.
Both the nine-game schedule and permanent rival issues are being reviewed in preparation for the SEC Network, which launches in August 2014, and the new College Football Playoff after the conclusion of the 2014 regular-season.
2014 SEC Football Schedule
The long awaited and much anticipated 2014 SEC Football Schedule is still not out yet and it doesn’t appear that it will be released this week at Media Days.
2014 SEC football schedule not ready for release this week.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) July 16, 2013
Larry Templeton told me the SEC is "close" to getting the 2014 football schedule finished, but it won't be this week.
— Big Baller Brad (@bradlocke) July 16, 2013
In June, Cecil Hurt reported that Alabama would play Florida in 2014. That game would likely be played in Tuscaloosa. Then in 2015, the Crimson Tide would play Georgia.
Also last month, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva told The Advocate that the Tigers will not play Georgia or South Carolina in 2014.
Early Season 2013 SEC Football TV Schedule
Earlier today, the SEC announced their early season 2013 football TV schedule. Overall, 37 games have been announced involving SEC teams for broadcast on ABC, CBS, ESPN Networks, FSN, SEC Network, and Pay-Per-View.