SEC releases 2013 schedule

Updated: October 19, 2012, 10:22 AM ET
By Chris Low and Brett McMurphy | ESPN.com

The SEC has released what it called a "bridge" conference schedule for the 2013 season, which includes the Georgia-South Carolina game moving back to the second week of the season and Alabama playing at Texas A&M for the first time in 25 years.

Alabama visits Texas A&M on Sept. 14, 2013, and hosts LSU on Nov 9. The 2013 SEC schedule, which was officially released Thursday, kicks off with Ole Miss visiting Vanderbilt on Aug. 31.

The league's athletic directors will meet in the spring to begin finalizing schedules for 2014 and beyond. The 2013 schedule is not based on any other previous or future scheduling formats.

"As we began working on the 2013 football schedule, it became apparent that the conference would need another year of the bridge schedule to make everything work," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. "I appreciate the SEC transition team and our athletic directors, who came together to put this schedule in place. We look forward to starting with our new scheduling rotation in 2014."

The 14 SEC schools again will play six opponents from their same division and two opponents from the opposite division in 2013. The cross-divisional common opponents that were previously announced by the league will not go into effect until 2014.

In order to maintain a balanced schedule for the 2014 season and beyond, three schools will be making return road trips in 2013. Ole Miss will visit Alabama for a second straight year. Texas A&M will go back to Ole Miss. And Georgia will again travel to Auburn.

Georgia, which hasn't faced Alabama or LSU either of the last two years in the regular season, will play LSU on Sept. 28 at home. Florida's game with South Carolina will move back a month, as the Gators will travel to Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 16.

The 2013 schedule has 14 playing weekends, which provides for two byes for each school. Alabama and LSU will both have byes the week before their game on Nov. 9.

South Carolina is the only team that has to go on the road for three successive weeks to play league games. The Gamecocks visit Arkansas on Oct. 12, then travel to Tennessee on Oct. 19, and to Missouri on Oct. 26.

The SEC championship game is scheduled for Dec. 7 in the Georgia Dome.

Chris Low | email

College Football

Brett McMurphy | email

College football reporter