Andy Staples on the new SEC schedule

In which he says the priorities should be tradition and entertainment.

Therefore, for example, since we have SWC tradition with the Aggies, and since our games with them lately have generally been down to the wire, we should continue to play them.

Speaking of tradition, he also notes that we hate the Fightin’ Fallopians with the heat of a thousand suns. So in distributing the permanent rivalry games, he gives us EOE, ATM and, unfortunately, Misery.

Another priority: Don’t be afraid to shake things up. If we start/continue playing a series of nailbiters with Ole Miss, while the Misery games suck, for instance, change the rivalries in four years to include the Flopnecks. If the games with A&M start to stink, ditto.

There is going to be a lot of moaning and groaning when they release all of this stuff. No way to make everyone happy.

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Yes, but the sting of unhappiness will be eased by all the money going into the athletic department accounts. This is a good thing for the SEC.

Yep. Giving ESPN more of what they want (more and better games) and they give us more of what we want (money, along with exposure). CBS refused to cough up more money when Misery and TAM joined, which is why CBS will be the third-string Big Ten network.

Also along the line of interesting matchups. Andy put Ole Miss with Auburn. Call it the Bucky Freeze Bowl (escorts are standing by). If Bucky’s been fired in four years, which at Auburn is a relatively safe bet, they might change OM to somebody else.

Missouri doesn’t fit in anywhere. Give me Ole Miss every year. We played the Rebs long before we joined the SEC.


Missouri works fine with Oklahoma, since they are ex-Big Eight/Big XII members and adjacent geographically. . Geographically they also fit with Arkansas, as much as some of our fans don’t like playing them every year. They probably would like to be paired with one of the Texas schools for recruiting purposes, but maybe they get Kentucky instead.

Ole Miss will of course have MSU, but then it gets a little tricky. Arkansas, LSU, Bama and Auburn are all long-time rivals, at most only two of those four will be permanent opponents.

Oklahoma is going to play Texas, and they ought to play Missouri. The big question is who will be the third opponent. Could be the Hogs, could be A & M or they might go further east.

Arkansas has a long history with the rebnecks, going back to 1908.
These images are from the 2022 media guide, so obviously add one win for the Hogs.

Until the paywall got me, what I was able to read was Spot On.

Found this interesting. The Aggie AD says that when the series with the Fallopians is renewed, the first game will be at Kyle Field. That would mean in 2024, both the Whorns and the Corndogs come to TAM, and of course the next year both would be Aggie road games.

Missouri should exit to the north. They sure seem like a big 10 school to me. Or maybe they fit with the dakotas.


Missouri tried for decades to get into the Big Ten. They couldn’t finagle an invitation from that league.

Agreed, but the B1G didn’t want them.

Safe to say, a lot of us don’t either.

Yep, but we’re stuck with them. Just like we’re about to be stuck with EOE. Again.

I wonder how we rank as far as other teams wanting us as a permanent opponent. Among our fans, most would prefer to play UT, A&M, LSU, OU or OM every year, while few find Missouri an attractive “rival.” My question: Who wants to play the Hogs every year?

Saw a thing from the Nashville paper this morning with his take on the new schedule. He gave us Texas, Ole Miss and Misery. He also speculated that a Texas-Tennessee, all-orange, who’s-the-real-UT thing would be fun.

Actually, now that I think about it, if you look in the comments of the linked story, you might get some idea who wants whom.

Something I’ll be watching is whether our first game with the Aggies once the JerryWorld contract expires is in Fayetteville, as it should be.

You will remember that the Aggies opted to play the game (they were designated “home team” that year) in 2020 at Kyle Field. We had the option to have the game in Fayetteville the next season, but Hunter declined based on the fact that any game not played in Arlington (including the Aggie’s hosting in 2020) pushed the end of the contract there. So, he figured we’d just keep in at JerryWorld in 2021-2024, then host the Aggies in 2025.

However, that was before OU and Texas joined the SEC. Whether we are paired annually with the Aggies (which I do not expect) or not, I DO expect to get screwed by the SEC one more time when we do play them post-JerryWorld. i.e., wouldn’t surprise me at all if we end up going back to College Station for that game, instead of hosting. That would be consistent with the way Arkansas has always been treated during the various changes to the schedule rotation. One example of that is that we have played Vanderbilt fewer times in the period since we joined the SEC than any other conference school. And we have played Georgia more than any SEC West school who does not play them annually.

Coincidence…right? Yeah…

I don’t really “want” Mizzou for one of our three; however, I don’t think for a second we have a shot at Vandy. My take is that in the next ten year span Mizzou is likely to be the least difficult foe we may face in the SEC. LSU, Texas, A&M, and Oklahoma will generally have strong recruiting classes resulting in a strong roster. Ola MS and MSU will generally be less strong roster wide than those programs, thus a likely more winnable game. So our ‘Soft’ opponent is likely Mizzou and our ‘Heavy’ opponent will come from Texas, LSU or Oklahoma finishing up with the ‘Medium’ weight school form Mississsippi- probably Ola MS.

Which leads me to another question, Wiz. The JW contract now overlaps with the first year of the expanded SEC, which may or may not have nine games. If it does have nine games, you would hope that we have four in RRS, four roadies, and JW. A&M will be the designated home team in '24, by the way, just as they were last year. But 3-5-JW will absolutely not surprise me.

If they get it right, though, that could be a benefit. The first year we would be scheduled to have five roadies, we’d only have four, because of being the visitor at JW. Then the next year we should have five home games, including the Aggies.

All of this, of course, assumes that (a) we get the Aggies in '24, whether on the rotation or as a permanent rival, and (b) they actually are a permanent rival. Which may or may not happen.

The difference this time is that the Horns are just one of the herd now, instead of the big bull. If they do draw us that will be three permanent opponents that will be be circling that game on the schedule every year. Two of those teams the Horns think of as rivals, the third (the Hogs) has a 4-2 record against them since it left the SWC-and a fan base that will be excited to play them every year.

So it’s probably going to be more a case of they are stuck with us as a permanent opponent. It’s kind of like the SEC Shorts skit a couple of years ago right after we whacked them in Fayetteville. The Arkansas guy locks the beat up Texas guy in the SEC building and says “You need to understand something. It’s not that I’m locked in here with you, it’s that you are locked in here with me.”