For everyone worrying about how the SEC’s two new additions would affect the football and basketball schedule – namely, the longstanding Alabama vs. Tennessee rivalry – SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has your answer.
At this week’s SEC meetings in Destin, Florida, Slive said the league will use a 6-1-1 format in football, where teams will play every team in their division once, have a permanent, cross-division rival and one team from the other division that rotates annually, according to the AP’s Mark Long.
The cross-division rivals in football will remain the same, except Arkansas will be paired with Missouri and Texas A&M with South Carolina, according to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News. Long says the 6-1-1 format is only temporary for now and could be changed later.
The news is good news for Tennessee and Alabama fans who were concerned that the Tide and Vols’ annual rivalry could be lost if the league had adopted a schedule that did not include a cross-division rival. Solomon said, however, that there is a chance a 6-0-2 model with no cross-division rivals could be revisited in the future.
In basketball, the league will play an 18-game schedule, with each team playing one permanent rival, four rotating opponents twice per year and the other eight teams once, Solomon said.
The permanent basketball rivals, according to an SEC spokesman, will be Alabama-Auburn, Arkansas-Missouri, Florida-Kentucky, Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Texas A&M, Ole Miss-Mississippi St and Tennessee-Vanderbilt.
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