----------------------- again please. I know this has been discussed elsewhere but I can’t find it. The Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl, UT/OU, etc. are obvious but I am not sure who Florida’s sacred rivalries might be. For instance is Vols/Vandy sacred? It ain’t to me but might be to them.
In the expanded SEC, I think these are the games you have to make sure are played:
Mississippi State-Ole Miss
After that, you can make an argument for a lot of others. For instance, I think Georgia-South Carolina has always been a pretty good rivalry. The Tennessee-Vanderbilt game seems to have some meaning. Both Mississippi schools can claim a rivalry with Alabama, but you have to draw the line somewhere with how many rivalries to protect, and Alabama-LSU means a lot more to the SEC/TV partners than those other games.
I think there is also value is rekindling or maintaining some of the old conference rivalries that developed outside the SEC. Oklahoma and Missouri have played 96 times. Arkansas and Texas A&M have played 77 times. Those series began in 1902 and 1903, respectively, and were played yearly for decades until conference moves disrupted them.
I can’t see Florida, Georgia, South Carolina or Kentucky giving up their annual in-state rivalries with ACC teams.
Florida-Georgia, aka The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Tennessee-Florida was a lot bigger when it was Phat Phil against Steve Superior, but it’s still pretty good,
Vols-Vandy is pretty heated, but so is Vols-Jellycats. I’d say Vandy a little more, being in-state.
Bama - Auburn, Tenn, & LSU
Auburn - Bama, Georgia, & Florida
Tenn - Bama, Vandy, & Kentucky
LSU - Bama, Ole Miss, & A&M
Ole Miss - LSU, MissTake, & Kentucky
Florida - Georgia, Auburn, & South Carolina
Georgia - Auburn, South Carolina, & Florida
OU - Texas, MissStake, & Mizzou
Texas - OU, Ark, & A&M
A&M - Texas, Ark, & LSU
Ark - Texas, A&M, & Mizzou
South Carolina - Georgia, Florida, & MissStake
Vandy - Tenn, Kentucky, & Mizzou
Kentucky - Tenn, Vandy, & Ole Miss
MissStake - Ole Miss, Mizzou & OU
Mizzou - MissStake, Ark, & Vandy
So, the sacred cows are in bold. Feel free to change the fill-ins for the rest of the threes where needed. Texas is going to rank OU plus A&M higher than the Ark game and I bet they try to avoid having Ark thrown in as their last permanent rival. There will be some fierce manuevering for the teams added to the rivals for each team’s permanent three games.
I expect the SEC will restore the Ark-Tex game as a permanent rivalry, but that’s probably more as a matter of convenience rather than as a “sacred cow” rivalry. It’s hard to call it a sacred cow when it hasn’t been played annually for over 30 years. That holds true for A&M-TX as well even though the interruption has only been a few years.
The rivalries I’d think are ones they’d go out of their way to preserve are TX-OU, AL-AU, OM-MSU, AU-UGA, UGA-UF, maybe TN-Vandy. Would do the same for AL-TN,
but that'd mean 3 sacrosanct rivals for AL & that might be too many. (Sorry. It’d only be 2 for AL)
I think you might underestimate the importance of that game. The only reason I think the SEC has permanent crossover opponents now is to protect the Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia games.
Alabama-Tennessee has been played every year since 1928, with the exception of one year during World War II.
I know it’s a big game, but it was easier to preserve in a 12 or 14 game conf with two divisions. The question now is what do you do with Alabama? It’s got to have AU. If it also has to have UT, it’s really hampered with the third perm. That’s also true if UT has to have Vandy or UK or UGA or UF. Something’s got to give. Regardless, you might be right. They’ll either see that AL, AU, & TN are all in the same pod or they’ll be sure to protect at least two rivalries for AL in some other way.
However, I now notice when I was counting rivalries I somehow thought I had 3 for AL. I didn’t. AL probably only has two that are sacrosanct: AU & UT. Auburn has two that are sacrosanct: UGA & AL. UGA probably has two: UF & AU. But that eliminates TN & UGA as sacrosanct. TN then has AL and perhaps UK or Vandy.
I edited my last post to fix my brain fart. I think you’re right. AL & TN would be one of the sacred cows.
Many of these are in jeopardy if the SEC chooses the “POD System” that has been talked about. If they adjust the two divisions where Bama and AU move to the east and Mizzou goes to the west, all are preserved except LSU/Bama. That is why I think the division option has legs. I think 9 conference games is also inevitable.
Excellent- looks real to me
Ole Miss vs MSU (while not big schools) to me it is always a good game and for its age - a classic but that just me
Those two will play that game even if it has to be in a pasture after the season!
It’s old school southern football down an dirty
I’m with you I bet they would play in a cow pasture full of cow pies just for the opportunity to make the other guy eat some
Permanent rivals (like they do in SEC basketball) with rotation allows everyone to have their rivalries without the problems divisions have created (like Georgia has never played at A&M or A&M at Kentucky). I’m beginning to think PR is the most likely solution, but we will see if the PTB agree.
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