Mapping future SEC schedules not an easy task, UF prez says

Southeastern Conference officials are meeting this week and next in part to discuss scheduling for 2013 and beyond.

Florida president Bernie Machen says finalizing future schedules is crucial as the league makes a transition from 12 to 14 teams that hasn’t always been easy.

“I just don’t think we’ve figured out all the scheduling issues,” said Machen, who plans to retire by the end of 2013. “Our schedules for football are only for this year, and we’d like to do them more in advance of that. We were sort of helping (Texas) A&M and Missouri get into the league as soon as possible. Nothing insurmountable, just making sure it works out.”

The SEC has adopted a “6-1-1” format where each team plays six divisional games, one permanent cross-division game and one rotating cross-divisional game. This way, storied rivalries such as LSU-Florida and Auburn-Georgia remain intact.

This format will apply to 2013, which is fine by Machen, but he knows more teams create more logistical hurdles with travel and other factors that will be on the table in the coming days.

Georgia-South Carolina, for example, used to be a September game, now it’s October, and Steve Spurrier hinted this week on a teleconference it could get moved again.

“I don’t think we underestimated, but it’s not insignificant to figure out the makings of it all,” Machen said. “Seems to be working fine, but it’s going to take years to get all that worked out.”

Machen also is involved in the Orange Bowl deal that would match the ACC champion against either Notre Dame, a Big Ten team or an SEC team, starting after the 2014 season.

“It’s not done, but I think it will probably get done,” Machen said. “It’s about terms, and who gets to choose.”




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