SEC Commissioner drops hints on future league scheduling with Oklahoma and Texas joining in 2024
Greg Sankey made clear nothing has been decided about future schedule models or program’s opponents, but the SEC commissioner was dropping hints.
Sankey appeared with SEC Network star Paul Finebaum last week after news broke that Texas and Oklahoma would be joining the league in 2024 — one year earlier than ESPN had reported the previous week.
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“The key is the number of games,” Sankey said, referring to the league members’ ongoing discussion on whether to play eight or nine conference games once 2024 arrives.
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“We can rotate teams through either an eight- or nine-game model with a lot of frequency.”
• the 1-7 model for 8-game schedule (one permanent, seven rotating
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The current eight game schedule has teams playing seven permanent opponents with one rotating cross-division opponent.
Sankey has strongly hinted the SEC might just go to one division one Texas and Oklahoma join the league in 2024, which is also the first year of the 12-team College Football Playoff.
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There has been great speculation over which opponent (s) each program should continue to play on an annual basis.
Sankey hinted that tradition and geography will be considerations, regardless of the schedule model.
“What becomes really important is long-standing rivalry games, geographic proximal games, and we want to work with our TV partners a little bit more before we make our final decisions,” said Sankey, adding that the SEC used an “outside firm” to help with analytics and modeling.
Georgia’s rivalry with Florida ranks as the most celebrated with Bulldogs’ fans and is the most likely rivalry to be protected regardless of the format.
There have been several well-documented discussions of Georgia bringing its designated home game with Florida back to Athens as early as 2025.
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To date, the SEC commissioner said more than 40 different models and formats have been considered, and he continues to get letters from fans suggesting different ideas.
“I said back in 2021 I’d like us to engage in Blue Sky thinking, so look at the big picture,” Sankey said on the Paul Finebaum Show, “But also figure out how we can move our teams through our campuses with greater frequency.
“We still, under this 12-year rotation (since Missouri and Texas A&M joined the SEC) haven’t had teams visit some cross-divisional rivals.”
Georgia is one such team, having not yet played at Texas A&M.
The Bulldogs and Aggies are scheduled to meet in College Station in 2024.
Georgia beat Texas A&M in Athens in 2019, 19-13.