The SEC has released its new football scheduling format, which is largely an extension of the eight league game format that the league has been using with one large caveat—each SEC team will be required to have at least one major conference opponent on its non-conference slate.
Commissioner Mike Slive hopes this addition to the format will help bolster the league's strength of schedule across the board:
“Critical to maintaining this format is the non-conference opponent factor which gives us the added strength-of-schedule we were seeking while allowing continued scheduling flexibility for institutional preferences, and acknowledges that many of our institutions already play these opponents." Schools like Kentucky, South Carolina, and Florida already have built-in non-conference rivalries with ACC schools, which allows them to fulfill this every year."
This upcoming season, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss do not have a power conference opponent on their non-conference schedule.
In conference, each team will continue to play six division games, one permanent crossover, and one rotating crossover. The permanent crossover rivalries are:
• Alabama (west) vs. Tennessee (east)
• Arkansas (west) vs. Missouri (east)
• Auburn (west) vs. Georgia (east)
• LSU (west) vs. Florida (east)
• Ole Miss (west) vs. Vanderbilt (east)
• Mississippi State (west) vs. Kentucky (east)
• Texas A&M (west) vs. South Carolina (east)