Kirby Smart, the Georgia Bulldogs football team coach, shows his frustration over the ongoing debate about Southeastern Conference’s (SEC) future schedule during the SEC’s spring meetings. SEC will become a 16-team league with the addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the conference in 2024, and this addition leads to a discussion about the number of conference games to be played.
The two main points that come under consideration are sticking with an eight-game schedule while reducing the number of annual rivalry games or switching to a nine-game schedule with three annual rivals. Therefore it is challenging for the conference to reach a consensus.
Some coaches, like Eli Drinkwitz of Missouri, find it confusing that 13 colonies were able to form a union, but the SEC can’t agree on an eight- or nine-game schedule. Despite the debate, eliminating divisions would resolve the issue of infrequent matchups between certain teams within the conference, like Texas A&M has only played Georgia once since joining the SEC in 2012 and is still waiting for a home game against the Bulldogs.
The eight- or nine-game conversation is still important for fans, and an eight-game schedule would result in some major rivalries, such as Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee, when they join ever year match up.
Meanwhile, if Texas A&M’s annual rival becomes Texas when they join the conference, the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry would be suspended every other year. LSU coach Brian Kelly mentioned the importance of playing Alabama every year and suggested that a nine-game conference schedule would allow for that. The football coaches and athletic directors met separately to discuss the schedule options, with hopes of reaching a decision by the end of the meetings.