Johnson City Press Thursday, July 31, 2014
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SEC to stick with eight-game league schedule in football

April 27th, 2014 9:44 pm by AP

SEC to stick with eight-game league schedule in football

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference has decided to stick with its current football scheduling format of eight league games and a permanent non-division rival.

The conference’s presidents and chancellors approved the socalled 6-1-1 format Sunday at a special meeting in Atlanta. SEC teams will continue to play each of their six division rivals, plus one permanent crossover rivalry game and another non-divisional opponent that will rotate.

The one change to format will affect nonconference scheduling. Starting in 2016, all SEC teams will be required to play at least one game against a team from one of the other Big 5 conferences — the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12. But even that rule shouldn’t change much. SEC schools routinely play at least one team from those conferences per season.

This season Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt do not play nonconference games against another Big 5 school. Only Arkansas, Texas A&M and Kentucky did not play a Big 5 nonconference game last year. The Wildcats’ main in-state rival, Louisville, joins the ACC this season.

The SEC had been considering adding a ninth conference game and doing away with permanent inter-division opponents such as Alabama-Tennessee and LSUFlorida.

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