Things are about to change considerably in the SEC.
What exactly those changes will be, we can only speculate at this point. But with Oklahoma and Texas joining the conference — by 2025 at the latest but likely sooner — we could see a shakeup to the conference’s entire structure.
It has been assumed that the league will choose to scrap the division format, likely replacing it with some sort of pod system, not entirely dissimilar to the scheduling model the ACC will move to starting next fall. With the scheduling revamp, it seems likely the SEC will look to add a ninth SEC contest to the schedule, a move that has already been made in the Big Ten and Big 12.
Speaking on the SEC coaches teleconference call on Wednesday, LSU coach Brian Kelly said he would welcome an expanded conference slate.
“I came to the SEC to play SEC games,” Kelly said. “The more SEC games, the better for me. That’s just my personal opinion, I want to play SEC teams. The more we can play SEC-caliber teams, the better it is for me.”
If the conference chose to add an extra game, it would mean more frequent contests against cross-divisional opponents. Tennessee, for example, comes to Tiger Stadium this Saturday for what will be just its second contest against LSU since 2011.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have played Florida every season since 1971, and that is their only current protected cross-division rivalry.
With the SEC set to expand to 16 teams, it seems like an inevitability that the league will look to add one more conference game to the mix. If/when that happens, that move will have at least one supporter in Kelly.
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