KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 08: Keith Davis #4 of the Texas A&M Aggies controls the ball against Jeff Withey #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 8, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Football's not the only sport changing in the new 14-team SEC: The conference debuted its brand new basketball scheduling system on Monday, effective this Fall.
Texas A&M and LSU are headed towards an annual Thanksgiving Week showdown in football, and now the Aggies and Tigers will face off twice every basketball season. The SEC released its revised basketball schedule set to begin this coming season, which features a complete revision of the previous years' division formats and 2012's rotating schedule.
Each team will have a permanent opponent they'll play a home-and-home series with each season. The set rivalries are as follows:
- LSU and Texas A&M
- Ole Miss and Mississippi State
- Alabama and Auburn
- Arkansas and Missouri
- Georgia and South Carolina
- Florida and Kentucky
- Tennessee and Vanderbilt
Unlike the complicated issues surrounding the reformatting of the football schedule, there's comparatively little controversy here, save for some grumbling over the now non-annual series between Georgia / Florida and Tennessee / Kentucky.
As for the rotation of opponents, there will be no division structure, but rather, a rotation that allows each team to play their permanent rival six times and every other team four times in the course of three seasons (from the official SEC press release):
The league’s 14 members will play an 18-game schedule that features at least one game against each conference opponent. Teams will play one permanent rival, four rotating opponents that will played home-and-home each season and eight teams that will be played once each year (four at home and four on the road). Each school will play its permanent rival home and away each season.
The SEC Tournament will host all 14 teams each season, with the top four teams in the conference receiving a bye until the quarterfinal round. The 2013 SEC Tournament will move from New Orleans to Nashville.