SEC Football: Rotating Rivalries Should Be Featured on Thanksgiving Night
The hot topic in Destin, Fla. last month at the SEC's annual spring meetings was the format of future SEC football schedules.
After a heated debate, the 6-1-1 model was adopted, meaning each team from one division will play its six other division foes, one permanent cross-division rival and one rotating opponent from the other division every season.
With the scheduling format adopted, you'd think that the headaches associated with it are gone, right?
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Brandon Marcello of the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger reported on Saturday that Mississippi State officials are hoping that their annual Egg Bowl rivalry with Ole Miss will be played on Thanksgiving night in future seasons. The game was played on Thanksgiving night on ESPN from 1998-2003.
It'd be a perfect fit.
While the Ole Miss/Mississippi State game doesn't move the meter on the national scale during most seasons, it's one of the SEC's longest-running rivalries—and one that would benefit from a little bit more exposure.
The NFL owns Thanksgiving Day, and the prime-time college football game is really the only option for college football fans. The fact that it isn't a national draw really doesn't matter, because college football fans are probably going to watch regardless.
Would you like three or four rivalry games involving SEC teams to rotate into the Thanksgiving night time slot?
What the SEC should push for in its look-in of the current television contract is a stipulation that requires a rotating SEC rivalry game to be played on Thanksgiving night on an annual basis. That pool should include the Egg Bowl.
There has been talk that LSU and Texas A&M—who have met 50 times on the gridiron—will play at the end of the season, and former Aggie head coach Jackie Sherrill thinks that it's going to be on Thanksgiving night.
Add one or two of the SEC/ACC intrastate rivalries into the rotation, and you have created an SEC holiday event that is unique every single season.
Travelling to college football games on Thanksgiving can be a hassle, and it surely won't please fans. But doing it once every four or five years is a small price to pay for having your biggest rivalry featured as the only show in town.
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