- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The SEC will kick off under the lights next year with a cross-divisional matchup between Texas A&M and South Carolina on a Thursday night, Aug. 28, in Columbia, S.C., the league said Wednesday.
The announcement was made as part of a full release of the 2014 conference schedule.
Texas A&M will close out its schedule with a Thanksgiving Day game against visiting LSU on Nov. 27.
The SEC's intradivision games remained intact, but the cross-division games between the East and West were scrambled, highlighted by an Alabama-Florida matchup Sept. 20 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Georgia will travel to Arkansas and LSU hosts Kentucky on Oct. 18 as part of the new schedule. Ole Miss hosts Tennessee on Oct. 18, Missouri goes to Texas A&M on Nov. 15, South Carolina travels to Auburn on Oct. 25, and Mississippi State hosts Vanderbilt on Nov. 22.
"One year from today, August 21, 2014, the SEC Network will be launched, marking an historic day in the almost 80-year history of the Southeastern Conference," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in the news release. "One week later, the SEC Network will kick off the 2014 football season with a conference game between Texas A&M and South Carolina scheduled for Thursday, August 28 in Columbia, S.C."
The format, however, won't be permanent. Slive announced at SEC media days in July that a committee to review the league's scheduling would be completed in time for the 2016 schedule. Whether the league retains its six intradivision, one permanent crossover and one rotating crossover game (6-1-1) alignment or turns to a nine-game conference schedule remains to be seen.
"The objective of this review is to develop a scheduling format for the 2016 season and beyond, which will be in the best interests of the conference," Slive said at the media days. "The conference's current 6-1-1 scheduling format will continue until a new format is approved by the conference membership."