Russell Report: SEC Schedule Model

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 2:07 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - One of my favorite sporting events is going on right now in Omaha, Nebraska. The Baseball College World Series. Throw in the Women’s College World Series held every year in Oklahoma City for softball and you have two of the best events to attend and be a part of for both players and fans alike. I’ve been so fortunate to have been to both places as a Gator broadcaster and if you have never been to these events, you should put it on your bucket list to go. It’s what college athletics is supposed to be like, it’s rich in tradition, with great players and great teams that have come to compete and try for championships and it’s also great for fans as well. Have fun watching this year but if you ever get a chance to go, especially if the Gators are there, take the time to do it. You won’t be sorry.

It’s getting closer, isn’t it? The start of the college football season. And as excited as fans are to see football this year, there is still work to be done to decide the future of the sport nationally and in the SEC. When Oklahoma and Texas arrive in the league, most people believe the league will either have an eight-game or a nine-game SEC schedule. The eight-team model will reportedly feature one permanent opponent and seven other rotating league games while the nine-game model reportedly has three permanent opponents and six other rotating league games. Most believe the smaller schools in the league prefer the three/six model because it gives them an easier path to at least make a bowl game. Think Vanderbilt here.

The other model is seemingly preferred by the more powerful league schools that believe playing tough competition within the league will only bolster the league’s case to get more teams in a college football playoff that now seems certain to expand in the coming years. It will be good for fans too as they will get to see different teams on a more routine basis and kids that stay in school for four years would get to see and play against all the teams in the league. And selfishly, if you only have one permanent opponent, more of those traditional rival games could go by the wayside. If Georgia is Florida’s permanent opponent, for example, you won’t see Auburn-Georgia anymore annually and that’s the longest rivalry game in the league.

When will the College Football Playoff expand, how many teams will get in, what will the format be, what will the sec schedule look like, what is going to happen with name, image, and likeness, will collectives still be around, and in what form, will the transfer portal model change, will recruiting signing days change? You can see why a lot of people just want the season to start already so we can just see and talk about football games being played on the field. As opposed to issues off of it. I’m Steve Russell, that’s the Russell Report!

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