Texas A&M-South Carolina, Arkansas-Missouri are SEC rivalries
The SEC has two new permanent rivalries -- Texas A&M vs. South Carolina, and Arkansas vs. Missouri. The league sticks to eight-game schedule.
The Aggies are expected to play in Columbia in 2014.
The league will possibly release the entire 2014 schedule by the end of this week’s SEC spring meetings.
The SEC planned to create these cross-divisional rivalry games upon A&M and Missouri’s entrance into the SEC in 2013, but balked on that plan due to difficulty of finding good games for both schools on the final weekend of the regular season.
The SEC’s current cross-divisional games are Florida-LSU, Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, Mississippi State-Kentucky and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt.
The league currently uses a 6-1-1 scheduling formula for its 14-team league -- six divisional games, one permanent cross-divisional rivalry and one roaming cross-divisional game.
SEC coaches informally voted 13-1 in favor of an eight-game schedule, but LSU coach Les Miles said there’s a “quiet majority” growing for a 6-2 format, which would eliminate the permanent rivalries.
For 2014 and likely 2015, the 6-1-1 stays in place. Whether the league favors a nine-game schedule in the future is uncertain, but it doesn’t have immediate plans to do so.
Miles said he enjoys competing against Florida, but he wants balance in the league’s scheduling approach.
“If there’s a first criteria for a conference, it’s to schedule with an opportunity for each member institution to have the same way, the same path to a championship,” Miles said.
Missouri’s Gary Pinkel told the Birmingham News he expected Arkansas and Missouri to establish a permanent rivalry.
The SEC has told its schools to stop scheduling nonconference games until the league finalizes its 2014 schedule and completes certain aspects of the 2015 schedule. A handful of SEC schools still have 2014 openings but are on hold.
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