Kansas should be a LOT better than Mizzou this year. I'm surprised the Chickenhawks are still scared to play us. Same with the Shorthorns and A&M.
With the SEC/Big East Challenge dying — right along with the Big East as we knew it — the Southeastern Conference has found a new league to play against in the early part of each basketball season. The SEC confirmed today what had been rumored for months — the Big XII/SEC Challenge will begin play in 2013-14.
The two leagues also recently partnered in taking control of the Sugar Bowl, which should turn into a fast-flowing revenue stream for both conferences.
Naturally, ESPN is behind the new hoops challenge. All 10 Big XII teams will take part, while only 10 of the SEC’s 14 schools get to participate (for obvious reasons). Like the old Big East challenge, the title of the series will flip-flop each year with the SEC getting top billing next season.
“The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said via press release. “We are pleased to be able to work with the Big XII and ESPN to highlight the sport of men’s basketball.”
Here are the matchups for Year One of the Big XII/SEC Challenge. (Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee are the SEC squads not taking part.)
Thursday, November 14th — Texas Tech at Alabama
Monday, December 2nd — Vanderbilt at Texas, Auburn at Iowa State
Thursday, December 5th — Ole Miss at Kansas State, West Virginia at Missouri, TCU at Mississippi State
Friday, December 6th — South Carolina at Oklahoma State, Kentucky vs. Baylor (at Arlington, Texas)
Tuesday, December 10th — Kansas at Florida
Saturday, December 21st — Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (at Houston, Texas)
In its first year this new challenge might have already equaled the number of interesting matchups created in six years of the SEC/Big East challenge.
Future schedules will be put together with input from ESPN, the SEC and the Big XII. With the Big XII having a say, it will be interesting to see if Texas and Kansas ever OK a games with Texas A&M and Missouri, respectively. Obviously, that won’t be happening this year.