SEC Announces New Mizzou Cross-Rival, Scheduling Formats
DESTIN, FL -- One month from Friday, the University of Missouri will officially become active members of the Southeastern Conference. With the addition of Missouri and fellow former Big 12 Conference opponent Texas A&M, the SEC needed to make several changes to help with future conference scheduling.
On Friday, the SEC announced schedule formats for football and basketball seasons along with new cross division rivals. Former cross division rivals South Carolina and Arkansas will part ways and welcome new foes. Missouri has been matched with border-state Arkansas while Texas A&M will now be cross division rivals with South Carolina.
The Southeastern Conference has also set new scheduling formats for the upcoming basketball and football seasons. The format called 6-1-1 will be used for football, excluding the upcoming 2012 season. The 6-1-1 will require each team in the conference to play a total of eight conference games. This includes six divisional, one permanent cross division rival (rotating home/away) and one rotating cross-conference game. This leaves each team to schedule four non-conference games throughout the season.
For the 2012 football season, Missouri will face SEC East opponents Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky along with SEC West opponent and defending national champion Alabama. They will also face Texas A&M, who was originally suggested as the Tigers cross division rival.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in a press conference Friday the football model will probably only be a for a 3-4 year period but could last longer. Slive said the majority of SEC schools were in favor of the 6-1-1 format. Missouri did not have a vote at Friday morning's president meetings due to Chancellor Brady Deaton's absence for an undisclosed campus matter. Athletic Director Mike Alden was allowed to participate, but because of SEC policy, he was not allowed to vote in Deaton's place.
For basketball seasons, the conference will use a 8-2-8 format. This format will require each team to play a total of 18 conference games. This includes two permant cross division rival games (home/away), four teams in rotating games (four home/four away) and the other eight teams once.
The format for the 2013 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament was also decided on Friday. The tournament will feature all 14 teams. Action will start on a Wednesday with two games. The top four teams in the conference will get byes until the quarterfinals.
Commissioner Mike Slive also addressed the absence of Missouri and Texas A&M on the newly released schedule for the SEC/Big East Challenge. Slive said that the SEC wanted to make the challenge work with all 14 teams but wasn't getting help from the Big East. The SEC plans to work with both teams to help fill the empty spot.