Oklahoma Sooners

SI’s Ross Dellenger Offers ‘Best Educated Guess’ on Possible SEC Permanent Opponents

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia

With Oklahoma and Texas recently announcing they’re exiting the Big 12 a year early, the Southeastern Conference could be very close to deciding on their set of three permanent rivals for each team. That’s a decision that’s expected to be made this spring, perhaps at the league’s annual gathering in the Florida panhandle, according to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.

With that in mind, Dellenger took a stab at just what those might look like. For Oklahoma, it would be Texas, Missouri and…drum roll…Florida. For Texas, it would be Oklahoma, Lone Star State rival Texas A&M and former Southwest Conference rival Arkansas.


Dellenger points out that more potential revenue makes the nine-game schedule a near formality. And that lends itself to the model with three permanent rivals.

There definitely seems to be a ton of interest in heading that direction.

“The SEC should lean into competing against one another as often as possible in all sports—not just a football deal,” said Florida Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin at the spring meetings last May. “Those are the ones the fans want to go to or watch on TV. Those are the ones the players want to play.”

The SEC previously narrowed down more than 30 scheduling models to a pair of division-less formats. One was an eight-game format where teams play a single permanent opponent and seven other rotating foes, known as the 1-7 model. The other is this nine-game format know was the 3-6 model.


And the latter appears to be the direction in which the conference is heading. It should be noted that all SEC athletic directors met last week in New Orleans for their annual winter gathering, with both Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Texas’ Chris Del Conte in attendance, but no decision on a future league format was made.

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