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Care For A Little Last Minute Speculation On The 2012 SEC Football Schedule?

With SEC schools expected to finally release their 2012 football schedules today, there have been plenty of leaks, rumors and reports across the internet speculating on which teams will face one another next season.

Who are we not to get involved?

Before we start tossing out guesses willy-nilly, let’s look at a few facts:


1.  Several schools have leaked information regarding which of the new teams — Missouri and Texas A&M — they’ll be facing in 2012.

2.  While the SEC has said 2012′s schedule will be a stand-alone set-up and won’t necessarily reflect a new rotation of cross-division foes, it’s likely that the league will try to keep the home-road rotation within divisions intact.  In other words, LSU shouldn’t have to travel to Alabama in two straight regular seasons. 

3.  It is believed that the SEC will try to preserve all of the current permanent cross-divisional rivalries for 2012.  But we were told by one SEC employee last week that “it may be necessary to break up one pair of rivals for 2012 only.”

4.  Moving forward, it’s likely the SEC will attempt to keep the schedule format for each team as follows: 3 home games inside the division, 3 road games inside the division, 1 home game outside the division, and 1 road game outside the division.  (We expect that format to be used as long as the SEC sticks with an eight-game schedule.  We’ve stated — and we still believe — that eventually the league will go to a nine-game schedule.)


Using the information above, we’ve put together a breakdown that we believe will be close to the official schedule. 

This list is done in alphabetical order and does not reflect when teams will meet.  We list the six divisional foes for each squad first, followed by the permanent cross-divisional opponent and then the 2012 rotating cross-divisional foe:


SEC EAST

Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Missouri
S. Carolina
Tennessee
Vanderbilt
@Georgia (Jax)
Florida (Jax)
@Florida
@Florida
@Florida
Florida
Florida
Kentucky
@Kentucky
Georgia
Georgia
Georgia
@Georgia
@Georgia
Missouri
@Missouri
@Missouri
Kentucky
@Kentucky
Kentucky
@Kentucky
S. Carolina
@S. Carolina
S. Carolina
@S. Carolina
Missouri
Missouri
@Missouri
@Tennessee
Tennessee
@Tennessee
@Tennessee
Tennessee
@S. Carolina
S. Carolina
@Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt
@Vanderbilt
@Vanderbilt
Tennessee
LSU
@Auburn
Miss. St.
Texas A&M
Arkansas
Alabama
@Ole Miss
@Texas A&M
Ole Miss
@Arkansas
@Alabama
@LSU
@Miss. St.
Auburn



SEC WEST

Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
LSU
Miss. St.
Ole Miss
Texas A&M
@Arkansas
Alabama
@Alabama
Alabama
Alabama
@Alabama
@Alabama
Auburn
@Auburn
Arkansas
@Arkansas
Arkansas
@Arkansas
Arkansas**
@LSU
LSU
LSU
@Auburn
Auburn
Auburn
@Auburn
@Miss. St.
@Miss. St.
@Miss. St.
Miss. St.
@LSU
@LSU
LSU
Ole Miss
Ole Miss
@Ole Miss
Ole Miss
@Ole Miss
Miss. St.
Miss. St.
Texas A&M
@Texas A&M**
Texas A&M
@Texas A&M
@Texas A&M
Texas A&M
@Ole miss
@Tennessee
@S. Carolina
Georgia
@Florida
@Kentucky
Vanderbilt
@Missouri
Missouri
Kentucky
@Vanderbilt
S. Carolina
Tennessee
@Georgia
Florida



** Arkansas and Texas A&M are currently scheduled to play in Arlington, Texas with A&M being designated as the home team in 2012.  However, the payout for the game has dropped over the last two seasons and might not be the draw it once was.  For that reason, there are rumors floating around today that next year’s game will move to College Station from Cowboys Stadium.


The schedule above truly is a set of dominoes.  Knock this one over and dozens of others topple after it.  For that reason, it looks as though Mississippi State will have to travel to Kentucky in back-to-back seasons.  The permanent cross-divisional rivals played in Lexington last season and, for simplicity’s sake, many believe State will be sent back to the Bluegrass State in 2012.  That’s easier than shifting several other games.

But there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind.

First, there are rumors circulating today that suggest the league has switched the venue of this year’s Alabama-Texas A&M game.  Moving the Tide-Aggie game from College Station to Tuscaloosa would probably receive thumbs-up from both schools.  If not for that switch, Bama would be set to face Arkansas, LSU and Texas A&M all on the road in every even year.  And A&M would face Alabama, Arkansas and LSU on the road every odd year.  Here’s guessing Mal Moore and Bill Byrne aren’t thrilled with those prospects.

So, if the A&M-Bama game shifts to Tuscaloosa in 2012, each school will also have to make another switch to maintain a 3-home, 3-road schedule inside its own division.  Both schools’ games with Mississippi State make the most sense.  MSU would travel to A&M — rather than host the Aggies — and they would host Alabama.  The Tide traveled to nearby Starkville last year as well, but such a move would offset the Dogs’ back-to-back visits to Lexington.  Getting Alabama at home in back-to-back years would help at MSU’s turnstiles.  And Bama — as mentioned above — would likely be willing to agree to such a move if it meant breaking up the Arkansas/LSU/A&M trifecta.

One other possible fix would be to break up cross-divisional rivals Kentucky and MSU for 2012.  For the sake of keeping the 3-3-1-1 format, UK could drop its home game with MSU and pick up Auburn instead.  MSU could then replace Auburn on Vanderbilt’s schedule.  (Instead of MSU at UK and AU at VU, we would have AU at UK and MSU at VU.)

As we noted earlier, an SEC official told us that at least one pair of permanent cross-divisional foes might need to be split up for the upcoming season.  (The fact that the comment was tossed into our text message conversation at all stood out to us.)  Kentucky and MSU would certainly make sense as the pair to split for a year, because the two schools have less history together than most other permanent rivals.

Overall, we believe the above lay-out will be close — very close — to the league’s official schedule when it’s released.  And here’s hoping that official release comes sometime later today.

 


24 comments
UGA Fan
UGA Fan

It's funny how people criticize UGA about having an "easy" schedule for 2011 & possibly 2012. Georgia has NO input as to who their conference schedule opponents are NOR do they have any control as to them having a good/poor season.

Let's play devil's advocate - had the Bulldogs finished with an "average" season in the SEC, would you STILL say they had an easy schedule? I doubt it because all we would read is how much better the other teams were.

barnBurner
barnBurner

Hello Mike!

Having been a St. Louisan from the mid- 1960's to 1970's (my Dad, having been conferred his EE at Bama, worked for McDonnell's aerospace division, on both of Gus Grissom's flights, and then xfrd back to the STL to work on F-4's and F-15's), I was taken by surprise--!!!but delighted!!!-- that Mizzou joined the SEC this year. (I was focused more on the development of our football team through the season, as well as the successes in recruiting.) Anyway, YES!!! I watched the game, too, and was ecstatic to see such a romping by the Tigers over the Tarheels!!!

As you can see from my previous entries, there are some rivalries that are, well, embarrassing, and the Bama-Auburn rivalry is one I've never really cared about. How many times, I can recall, like 1972, for example, when we are undefeated going into the Thanksgiving break, and play Aubren with the mindset of 'not to lose' and lose anyway, because they have NOTHING to lose at that point! 2009 was like that, but we got lucky, and then went on to play the Gators, and then beat your former rival, the Steers for the NC. I'm glad Mizzou is in the SEC... a big Southern WELCOME! Now, if we can get y'all re-aligned in the West where you belong--if only for the benefit of giving some parity to the teams and athletes--I'll be happy for you. Send the War Eagles/Tigers/Plainsmen/Cow College to the East, where they really belong!!!

StLouieMike
StLouieMike

Every day that goes by I am more impressed by the class that you'll have in the SEC. Ever since the Big 12 formed it always felt like we were the red headed step child, but since the move was announced I have read nothing but welcome to the league! Proud to be the newest member of the finest conference in the NCAA and proud to bleed black and gold, go Mizzou, showed the ACC we can play today LOL.

barnBurner
barnBurner

In addition, the Barnturds are turning to playing smaller, playing in-state small schools like Alabama A&M, on 11/17 (right after playing smallish McNeese State on 11/3). And then, in 2013, they're going to "take on" Jacksonville State (from Jacksonville, Alabama--ever heard of those Gamecocks?!) A big bruhaha this year was made of AU playing in-state schools, versus Alabama refraining from doing so. The Barn's argument was "why not, Bammers?", with no real rationale for going out and beating up on smaller schools--smaller LOCAL schools, to do what--make some point about how good a football team you have--inside the state lines? Yep, we played Kent State, Satan's alma mater. Yep, we played Georgia Southern, a school in Statesboro, Georgia, that has a terrific legacy of awesome football teams each year. (And we learned a lot about how to defend against the option in that game as well--something I hope comes in handy against LSU week-after-next!) Then, the Barners extend their argument to telling the Bama crowd, "Y'all should play Troy!" Why not put your OWN money where your flat-footed, double-recessive, narrow-offset-eyed, shallow gene pooled, uneducated mouths are, and YOU play Troy, instead of Alabama A&M!

I say, ship those bitter Barners to the East! Be done with them.

barnBurner
barnBurner

Being a Bama grad, I wouldn't mind if the Barn went over to the East Division. Missouri, rightfully so, should be in the West. It's a logistical nightmare for our new friends, their teams and for their fan base and students, to go to Gainesville, Athens and Columbia. Right now, if virtually guarantees that their teams, in football (and in all other sports especially) will be playing with no fan support in the stands. As for my AU comment, I really could care LESS about ever having to deal with those people, both on the field, as wellas in life relations. We play to win championships, and look forward to playing folks like Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, Miami, etc. Those corn dog eating mullets only play to beat us. What a miserable life they have.

Dinkidau
Dinkidau

For years the SEC West has been overloaded with nationally ranked teams. During this time of adding A&M and Mizzou, would be a great time to move Alabama and Auburn to the

SEC East, putting A&M and Mizzou in the West conference. With all of the reshuffling of Team Schedules, now is the time to do this. It would even out the playing field and retain

the Rivialies. This would also lesson the head butting between so many top teams in one Conference. It would also liven up the competiveeness between the East and West

Conferences.

Fulmersbelly
Fulmersbelly

someone wants UGA to win the east, year 2 of west pansies.

m
m

Unless they go to 9 games in a few years, they will have to re-set the permanent rivalries so every team in a division plays its permanent rival at home in the same year.

If, in the same year, you have:

Alabama@Tennessee

Georgia@Auburn

Then Alabama and Georgia each need to host a team from the other division to get a 1-1 home/away schedule. They could never play each other as a rotating team! Similarly, Auburn could never play Tennessee.

This year or next I expect half the permanent rivalries to be played at the same site 2 years in a row to allow all teams to be able to rotate. Otherwise they can add a 9th game to make it unnecessary.

tandywarhol
tandywarhol

It looks like UGA gets to avoid the big three from the West (LSU, Alabama, Arkansas) yet again. All that praying Richt does must be paying off.

the unthinkable
the unthinkable

with that SEC schedule, Vandy could be heading to back to back bowl games -- this, of course assuming they upset a couple teams and UK/UT/Ole Miss/ Mizzou stay relatively the same or become more incompetent...

Statesman
Statesman

If A&M switches the Bama game to a road game, then does that force Mizzou and A&M to switch their game to College Station. If so this would be the 3rd year in a row that Mizzou has played at A&M due to the Big12 schedule adjustment this year. Now Mizzou has won both games and they were not in the SEC, but let's hope the league takes this into consideration, (although Pinkel & the Texas recruits would not mind). Also why have Vandy & UK on the same home road series? Switch Bama and Vandy in home vs. road games.

Finally, why is Bama on both newcomer's schedule? I understand the west but East also?

Corvetteloverzo6
Corvetteloverzo6

When can we expect to see "Texas A&M" and "Missouri" tabs at the top of this website? Glad to have both in the SEC. And Roll Tide

winner
winner

what no blackout

UGA Fan
UGA Fan

"NOR do they have any control as to them having a good/poor season."

"Them" is in reference to the opponents - not UGA.

cb4
cb4

@barnBurner Dang dude. You hate your rivals more than you like your own team. I wander how you feel about your kids?

DizzyD
DizzyD

@Dinkidau That would leave 8 teams in the East and only 6 in the West...so that doesn't work either.

CharlotteGamecock
CharlotteGamecock

@Dinkidau For year? it's only been the last 3... SEC East still has the most winners in the SECCG than the SEC West.

CharlotteGamecock
CharlotteGamecock

@Fulmersbelly I wouldn't say that, they do have 4 AWAY SEC games before they even see an SEC team at Home. (Yes, they will have some OOC games and Jax isn't necessarily an away game but... it's 'something)

They could easily be knocked out of the SEC East race before they even have a meaningful game in Athens.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Corvetteloverzo6...

We'll add them next summer when they officially join the league.

Thanks for reading,

John

barnBurner
barnBurner

@cb4

not sure how you got the idea that my dislike for Auburn eclipses the love I have for Bama. But anyway... the point is, I could care LESS about the mullets from Lee County. They've been an eyesore, and generally folks you'd rather not have to deal with--otherwise you'll be pulling knives out of your back!

cb4
cb4

@barnBurner @cb4 Not sure if it was your obvious username or the multiple slurs against Auburn. I'm from the state and it's insane to think of the passion that has surpassed everyone's common sense. The AU/UA game used to be one of the best rivalries in college athletics and now it's the Jerry Springer show. One team had a coach raising fingers after wins while another has fans tearing up the others property because "He has too much Bama in him". Even when ESPN decides to do a documentary, we don't talk about how great the schools are, we talk about the Paul Finebaum show. If folks from other areas only thought we were trash, by god now they know.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] on Twitter that the release would not be today. In the meantime, a little speculation here from Mr. SEC on what that schedule might look like. There were models early in this process that had Ole Miss [...]

  2. [...] on Twitter that the release would not be today. In the meantime, a little speculation here from Mr. SEC on what that schedule might look like. There were models early in this process that had Ole Miss [...]

  3. [...] Given Pennington’s projection, Missouri’s conference schedule would look like this: @ Florida Georgia Kentucky @ South Carolina @ Tennessee Vanderbilt Texas AM @ Alabama [...]

  4. [...] Given Pennington’s projection, Missouri’s conference schedule would look like this: @ Florida Georgia Kentucky @ South Carolina @ Tennessee Vanderbilt Texas AM @ Alabama [...]

  5. [...] Pennington of MrSEC.com posted a prediction of each team’s schedule earlier today. Here it is. Share this [...]

  6. [...] to MrSEC.com, the “SEC will attempt to keep the schedule format for each team as follows: three home games [...]

  7. [...] you believe Mr. SEC, the game against Alabama will be on the road. At least, such was his conclusion after crunching [...]

  8. [...] you believe Mr. SEC, the game against Alabama will be on the road. At least, such was his conclusion after crunching [...]

  9. [...] SEC has finally unveiled its 2012 football schedule and it’s awfully close to what we projected on Monday.  In fact, we missed the venue on just four games in our projection and we nailed each [...]



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