On Wednesday, the SEC unveiled the home and away opponents for the 2024 season, which will be the first for newcomers Texas and Oklahoma with the Longhorns and Sooners joining the league next year. Each team will play eight games within the conference, and every incumbent member will play either the Texas or Oklahoma during their inaugural run through the SEC gauntlet. 

Texas plays at Texas A&M in College Station, which will be the first edition of their historic rivalry since Nov. 24, 2011 when Justin Tucker hit a walk-off field goal at Kyle Field to give the Longhorns a 27-25 win over the Aggies. The victory for Texas sent Texas A&M out of the Big 12 on a sour note. The Longhorns also get to see two-time reigning national champion Georgia come to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in what is their biggest home game on the docket.

Sooners fans will get to see SEC power Alabama up close and personal in Norman in what will be a rematch of the 2018 Orange Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal. They'll also get a chance to travel to two historically tough road atmospheres: LSU's Death Valley and Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. 

So what do we make of the matchups set for the new-look SEC in 2024? Let's break down some top talking points in what will be the first season the conference has played without divisions since the league split in 1992.

Oklahoma better buckle up

The Sooners drew a gauntlet to run in Year 1. They get Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina at home, while their fourth home game is the neutral-site matchup against the Longhorns. So ... it's not really a home game at all. 

How the conference spreads those home games out when the specific dates are revealed will be fascinating. It's fair to assume that the Red River Rivalry will take place in its traditional spot in late September or early October, and the Sooners already have nonconference matchups set for August 31 (Temple) and Sept. 14 (Tulane). Will the SEC try to balance out the home and away games as much as possible? If so, a rough road could be coming in October or November. 

Some will say that Oklahoma's schedule simply "isn't fair." Nope. It's just SEC football at its finest (toughest). Good luck.

Texas' schedule is somewhat manageable

Sure, the Longhorns get Georgia at home. We probably can just chalk that up as a loss now even though we have no idea who is going to be on either roster. However, it's not as difficult as I expected. Florida, Kentucky and Mississippi State  -- none of whom have been dominant lately -- will come to Austin. One of the Longhorns' road games is against lowly Vanderbilt, and its trip to Arkansas in an old Southwest Conference rivalry showdown won't be the most difficult task in the world. Throw in the fact that the clash with Oklahoma is considered a road game, and things set up well for Steve Sarkisian's crew.

The Texas A&M game in College Station is going to be wild, but that goes without saying. 

Two monsters will meet in T-Town

Georgia has won two straight national titles and is the odds on favorite to make it a three-peat in 2023, due in part to a very easy schedule. The Bulldogs' dynasty has come at the expense of Alabama, which boasted "dynasty" status for the majority of the 2010s. Naturally, the SEC orchestrated a matchup in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, between the two SEC stalwarts in what will be a game that defines the landscape of the new era of college football.

It'll be the first regular-season matchup between the two teams since the Crimson Tide topped the Bulldogs 41-24 in Tuscaloosa en route to the 2020 national title. That game was prior to coach Kirby Smart established the dynasty, and it's safe to say things have changed quite a bit since then.

LSU fans should be thrilled

The Tigers stunned the college football world when they won the SEC West in coach Brian Kelly's first season in Baton Rouge in 2022. Even if they don't return to Atlanta in 2023, the door is open when the SEC expands in 2024.

Road games against Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M don't jump off the page. All four have potential, but "potential" and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee. Alabama and Oklahoma will visit Death Valley, as will Vanderbilt and Magnolia Bowl rival Ole Miss

There won't be any divisions in 2024, so it isn't crazy to think the Tigers can land in one of the top two spots -- especially after what we saw Kelly orchestrate last season.

It's about to get even better

The SEC kicked the can down the road at its spring meetings session when it didn't settle on a long-term schedule matrix. The two finalists are a 1-7 model, where teams have one permanent rival and seven rotating opponents, and a 3-6 model that features three permanent rivals and six rotators. The long-term future of the conference will be settled eventually, and the general consensus is that it will be some variation of the 3-6 model. Consider the 2024 season as an up-and-coming opening act of what will be a sold-out rock concert. 

The conference had two years to settle on a long-term format but failed to do so. That is considered a failure all around. However, the SEC saved a ton of face by giving the college football world a wild one-off similar to the 10-game gauntlet is concocted during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign.