The Southeastern Conference is currently considering a divisionless nine-game or eight-game conference schedule once Texas and Oklahoma join the conference in 2024.
With a nine-game conference schedule, each SEC school would play three permanent and six rotating opponents each year.
The conference is using a 10-year success metric and choosing each team’s three opponents based on primary and secondary rivalries, geographical footprints, and balance and parity, according to Sports Illustrated.
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And Alabama head coach Nick Saban does not appear pleased with what he’s heard.
“I’ve always been an advocate for playing more [conference] games,” Saban told SI. “But if you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed [opponents] right. They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that [decision].”
The conference is expected to make a decision on the schedule this spring, according to a February report by SI.
Saban pointed to Tennessee’s rise, getting up to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings before finishing the year at No. 6, when discussing Alabama’s potential schedule.
“They said they did a 10-year whatever,” the coach said. “Well, some of those years, Tennessee wasn’t as good as they’ve been in the previous 10 years, but now they are as good as they used to be before those 10 years.
“We got three teams, and two of them are in the top 10, and the other is in the top 10 a lot,” Saban added. “Look historically over a 25-year history, and the three best teams in the East are Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. You look historically at 25 years, Alabama, LSU and Auburn are the three best teams in the West. So we’re playing them all.”
While the Vols have struggled over the past decade, Tennessee has won the third-most football championships with 13.
The eight-game conference schedule would be straightforward, with teams more than likely facing their rivals each season.