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SEC's 6-1-1 Schedule Keeps Rivalries, Hurts Cross-Division Play

The SEC has finally figured out its scheduling quandary after bringing on two new teams, officially going with a plan that would give each team games against six division foes, one permanent cross-division rival and one rotating out-of-division opponent every year. And then whichever four out-of-conference teams are up.

The way it's set up, it means, say, Alabama and Georgia will only play every six years, and the Tide will visit Athens once every 12. It's almost like they're both in the same conference, sort of! Barely!

The pairings:

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

So why not just play nine conference games, allowing teams to see each other more than once a decade?

Should we hope the coming playoff system has a harsh strength of schedule component, which could punish leagues that play only eight conference games?

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