The SEC’s eight-game conference schedule could become a thing of the past within the next few seasons.
According to Andy Staples of The Athletic, the SEC is keeping all options on the table for scheduling once Texas and Oklahoma join the conference. One option being considered is a move to a nine-game schedule. How it would work remains a question, as it could involve pods of four teams or permanent opponents.
The move is mostly financial, with a wrinkle. SEC fans have grown tired of the repetitive schedule, as there is virtually no overlap between the East and West aside from permanent opponents and teams that make the championship game. A bigger rotation of opponents would do a lot for fans and let them see teams they’re not used to facing.
The move to nine games would also please other conferences. The Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 have at times been rankled by the SEC’s eight-game schedule allowing them to add a weak non-conference opponent to the slate. The aforementioned three leagues all play nine-game conference slates.
Further schedule changes may be required if the SEC gets even bigger. Regardless, the upcoming conference realignment will lead to major changes even within the league.