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I don’t know, the SEC seems fine with non-conf rivals…
… but there are some teams that don’t have an obvious non-conf opponent. Are you suggesting LSU should play… U Louisiana (Lafayette)? Louisiana Tech?
Arkansas should play Arkansas State?
I doubt either would be happy with those matchups during rivalry week. But there IS value in having a game that draws extra eyes during the final week of the regular season, and rivalry games seem to do that enough that schools want to play them if possible. So the SEC trying to make them work is just them doing what their members likely want, I think…?
Comment 2 replies
OU/Arkansas makes some sense geographically…
… but they just kind of settled into Arkansas/Missouri (which also makes sense geographically) and unless Missouri switches to Kansas… I’m not sure LSU, A&M, or Texas make much sense?
And it doesn’t help solving who Texas would play since, again, I don’t think Texas would want to consider Missouri to be their rival, and it doesn’t make LSU or A&M have a rivalry week rival to free up the other one to pair with Texas.
I’m trying to look at this as: Texas and OU will get some leverage to do things like schedule the game in Dallas during the state fair, but I don’t know that the SEC is going to just let us call our shots for rivalry week if it screws over other SEC members. So if we want to play A&M, LSU prob needs to be happy with who they’re paired with. If OU or Texas is going to play Arkansas, Missouri probably will need to be happy with who they’re paired with.
I’m basing most of my theories on the idea that the SEC west will be…
… and that it makes no sense at all to even speculate about the Mississippi schools not playing against each other during rivalry week.
So you have to come up with 3 pairs that make the other 6 schools happy… or an even number of them have to consider non-conference rivalry week games (like OU/OSU, Texas/Texas Tech, or Missouri/Kansas… but obviously not all 3 since then you’d need a 4th).
Comment 2 replies, 1 rec
I think part of the trick will involve what OU decides to do, honestly…
There will be an even number of teams in whatever division (more likely) or pod (less likely) we end up in, so, even if we don’t play OU during rivalry week (which I agree with, it should stay in October in Dallas… I just included them since I could imagine the SEC thinking it was the easy answer with us arriving at the same time), there still will likely be pressure to pair up teams within the division unless an even number have non-conference match-ups. And while Texas has some reasonable historical rivalry options (Arkansas and A&M) along with a neighboring state option (LSU), OU really only has extended histories with Texas and Missouri (who actually seems likely to be swapped to the SEC west if they stick to a 2 division format). So during rivalry week, would OU want to play… Texas? Missouri (who may not be a major rival but they have played 93 times, far more than any SEC opponent other than Texas at 106… with A&M being next at 30, and Arkansas 4th at 11)? Would they want to "manufacture" a rivalry with Arkansas or LSU? Or do they stick with Oklahoma State as a non-conference game?
If they go with Oklahoma State, then at least 1 of the other likely-SEC-west teams won’t have a rivalry week opponent, so either Texas will have to break up a current rivalry week match-up (A&M/LSU, Arkansas/Missouri) or they’d be likely considering whether Tech is a viable option, and running into the same weird "does anyone stay in Lubbock for Thanksgiving or the day after?" situation.
So, if we want to avoid that, we have to hope that which ever pair we break up also satisfies OU for a pairing, I think? Like, if we take Arkansas (which, again, is a historic rivalry, not a manufactured one, but definitely one that Arkansas seems to remember more than we do) and OU gets Missouri. Or Texas gets A&M, and OU gets LSU. Of Texas gets A&M and LSU gets Arkansas (which, again, they obviously didn’t feel strongly about), and OU gets Missouri.
If OU goes with OSU… I’m not sure that Arkansas, Missouri, or LSU have any non-conference rivals that would be what they’d like… mayyyybe Missouri with Kansas, but that would be an easier sell back when Kansas was doing at least a little better than they are lately. But yeah, all of this will be a game of matching pairs in a way that appeals to the other teams, and the conference as a whole.
While I don’t mind us playing Tech or other Big 12 Texas teams after the move, I don’t know that I like it for rivalry week, so trying to work out a trade for A&M makes sense, Arkansas could make some sense (but seriously we would need to wake up more for games against them) since it would free up Missouri for OU… LSU would be cool but definitely would be "manufactured" and wouldn’t solve who OU plays.
If those options don’t work, and it came down to either moving the OU game to the end of the year (which I don’t like) or playing Tech during rivalry week (which I also don’t like), I’m not sure which I’d choose.