3-point shot: Figuring out SEC schedule

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
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1. SEC coaches will meet this week in Florida to discuss scheduling for next season in a new 14-team conference. The coaches expect the league to go with a formula that has each team playing one natural rival twice in an 18-game league season. The other 16 games would come from a rotation of a collection of teams that a team plays twice -- four other for eight games -- and then the other eight games would come from splitting four teams at home and four teams on the road.

2. The SEC’s natural rivals are mostly easy to select. Some are obvious like Ole Miss-Mississippi State, Auburn-Alabama and Tennessee-Vanderbilt. But ironically the one school that may not have a perfect match is Kentucky. If you put Georgia with Florida, Texas A&M with LSU and Missouri with Arkansas then it leaves Kentucky with South Carolina. The easier thing to do is to marry Kentucky and Florida, as has been the case for TV of late as the rivalry game in the SEC, and just put Georgia with South Carolina. Pitting Kentucky and Florida together makes the most sense because it links the two most dominant programs in the league lately. And it ensures that both schools will get two quality in-conference RPI games.

3. The SEC will also discuss its 14-team tournament for next March. Expect the coaches to endorse having everyone represented at the tournament. The best news for the league is that it isn’t going back to divisions. The plan is to stick with no division. The football scheduling format last season of an East and West, even with no divisions, was still too imbalanced.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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