What will SEC football schedule look like in 2026? Greg Sankey offers update

MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. – Eight or nine conference games?

Don’t expect an answer to emerge from the SEC this week at the conference’s spring meetings.

Even as the SEC expands to 16 teams this year with the addition of Texas and Oklahoma, the conference will maintain an eight-game conference schedule in football for the 2024 and ’25 seasons. Opponents have been announced.

And the format for 2026 and beyond? That remains unsettled. Commissioner Greg Sankey expects it to remain unsettled even after conference meetings conclude Thursday.

“I don’t expect a lot of conversation here about football scheduling,” Sankey said Monday, on the eve of the three-day conference meetings.

Last year, the schedule debate formed a hot topic throughout the meetings. The eliminated divisions but retained an eight-game schedule format. Eight conference games puts the SEC in line with the ACC, while the Big Ten and Big 12 play nine conference games.

“Given all that’s happening around us, scheduling kind of is out there (to be determined later), and we continue to talk about it,” Sankey said.

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Sankey teased a bit of scheduling news, though.

The SEC on Thursday will announce game times for this season’s first three weeks, along with a few select other game times.

Additionally, game times for all of the early television window games will be announced by mid-June, he said. Those are games that will kick off between noon and 1 p.m. ET.

As for that 2026 conference schedule format?

“You’re free to ask,” Sankey told reporters.

Just don’t expect an answer this week.

Blake Toppmeyer is the USA TODAY Network's SEC Columnist. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer.

Also, check out his podcast, SEC Football Unfiltered, and newsletter, SEC Football Unfiltered. Subscribe to read all of his columns.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: What will SEC football schedule be in 2026? Greg Sankey gives update