After much speculation recently about the most powerful conference in college football moving to a nine-game league schedule in the future, the SEC and commissioner Mike Slive announced in a press release on Sunday that they will not be going in that direction. The conference will be sticking with the eight-game slate, with every team expected to schedule at least one opponent per year from the ACC, Pac-12, Big 12 or Big Ten.
“This has been a thoughtful and deliberative process that has resulted in maintaining the current format and adds a provision that will bolster our collective annual non-conference schedule,” said Commissioner Mike Slive in the release. “Critical to maintaining this format is the non-conference opponent factor which gives us the added strength-of-schedule we were seeking while allowing continued scheduling flexibility for institutional preferences, and acknowledges that many of our institutions already play these opponents.”
The argument as to whether or not to move to nine games has been back and forth for quite some time now, although not many expected it to actually happen, just as it turned out.
Slive even cited how tough the conference already is as to why the move was not made.
“The existing strength of the SEC was certainly a significant factor in the decision to play eight games,” Slive said. “In fact, just last year, five of our schools comprised the top five toughest schedules in the nation according to the NCAA and nine ranked in the top 20.”