What a Hypothetical 9-Game SEC Football Schedule Might Look Like in 2014

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMay 1, 2013

What a Hypothetical 9-Game SEC Football Schedule Might Look Like in 2014

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    A possible move to a nine-game conference schedule has been the subject of intense speculation ever since the SEC expanded to add Missouri and Texas A&M prior to the 2012 season. The SEC settled on an eight-game schedule for 2012 and 2013. But beyond that, it's anybody's guess.

    ESPN.com reported on Monday that a nine-game schedule will be one of the major talking points when SEC officials meet in Destin, Fla., later this month.

    But it may not be entirely up to the SEC.

    "I think TV will certainly have something to say about that also,'' said Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel on the SEC coaches' teleconference last week. "The commissioner will do what's best for the league, and we will support that."

    Television networks want inventory, and a nine-game conference football schedule would certainly provide more inventory—including games on the yet-to-be-created SEC cable network.

    My colleague Michael Felder over at Your Best 11 tells conferences to pump the brakes on the nine-game conference schedule talk, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate.

    Here it is, your hypothetical nine-game SEC schedule for 2014. Current out-of-conference games were included, thanks to the good folks at FBSchedules.com. But some games had to be moved or postponed to later years to fit in the extra conference game. For teams that didn't have three out-of-conference games arranged, I took the liberty of scheduling them myself.

    For the sake of continuity, all SEC East teams play five conference home games and four conference road games, and vice versa for the West. Permanent cross-division rivalries were preserved, with the new rivalries (Arkansas vs. Missouri and South Carolina vs. Texas A&M) being implemented. 

    You're welcome, SEC office.

    (For a full view of the schedule, click here)

Florida Gators

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    Florida's schedule was rather easy to configure. The Gators already have their end-of-the-season showdown with Florida State set in stone. They also have out-of-conference games with Idaho, Eastern Michigan and Eastern Kentucky.

    One of those had to go, and it was the Eastern Kentucky game. 

    On even-numbered years, the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party with Georgia counts as a Florida road game, which is why you see only three true road games for the Gators within the SEC. LSU stays as Florida's permanent cross-division rival in this format.

    Florida's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Idaho

    Sept. 6 vs. Eastern Michigan

    Sept. 13 at Vanderbilt

    Sept. 20 at Tennessee

    Sept. 27 vs. Mississippi State

    Oct. 4 vs. LSU

    Oct. 11 BYE

    Oct. 18 vs. Missouri

    Oct. 25 at Alabama

    Nov. 1 vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville)

    Nov. 8 vs. Kentucky

    Nov. 15 BYE

    Nov. 22 vs. South Carolina

    Nov. 29 at Florida State

Georgia Bulldogs

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    Georgia's 2014 schedule features its intra-state rivalry with Georgia Tech to close the season and a visit from neighboring Clemson to start the season. 

    The Bulldogs also have out-of-conference games with Charleston Southern and South Alabama. Sorry,  South Alabama, but you've been cut from Georgia's 2014 hypothetical schedule.

    I'm sure it will be picked back up in the future.

    Georgia still plays South Carolina to start the season and will play what counts as a home game vs. Florida in Jacksonville.

    Georgia's Hypohetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Clemson

    Sept. 6 at South Carolina

    Sept. 13 BYE

    Sept. 20 at Kentucky

    Sept. 27 vs. Tennessee

    Oct. 4 at Arkansas

    Oct. 11 vs. Vanderbilt

    Oct. 18 BYE

    Oct. 25 at Missouri

    Nov. 1 vs. Florida (in Jacksonville)

    Nov. 8 vs. Texas A&M

    Nov. 15 vs. Auburn

    Nov. 22 vs. Charleston Southern

    Nov. 29 vs. Georgia Tech

Kentucky Wildcats

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    Kentucky's out-of-conference schedule is set for 2014, with games against Louisville, Ohio and Tennessee-Martin already on the docket. 

    Simple, right?

    Mark Stoops' crew has a nice SEC schedule, with bye weeks bracketing a stretch of four straight conference games, with another four-game SEC stretch to close the season.

    The Wildcats do keep Mississippi State as their permanent cross-division rival, and add games with Ole Miss and LSU. Could there be another "Bluegrass Miracle" on the bayou?

    Kentucky's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 31 (Sunday) at Louisville

    Sept. 6 vs. Ohio

    Sept. 13 vs. UT-Martin

    Sept. 20 vs. Georgia

    Sept. 27 BYE

    Oct. 4 vs. South Carolina

    Oct. 11 vs. Ole Miss

    Oct. 18 at LSU

    Oct. 25 vs. Mississippi State

    Nov. 1 BYE

    Nov. 8 at Florida

    Nov. 15 at Missouri

    Nov. 22 vs. Vanderbilt

    Nov. 30 at Tennessee

Missouri Tigers

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    Since Missouri has out-of-conference games scheduled with UCF, Indiana, South Dakota State and at Toledo, I had to do some moving and shaking with the Tigers' schedule.

    Gone is the game at Toledo because—come on Missouri—SEC teams don't go to Toledo. The South Dakota State game also disappeared in favor of the renewal of the Kansas rivalry at the end of the season in Kansas City (that's right, we're scheduling neutral site games, too).

    Yes, it's coming back. Hop on board.

    Missouri also opens the season on Thursday night on the road against Auburn, will start its permanent cross-division rivalry with Arkansas and also host former Big 12 mate Texas A&M out of the West.

    Missouri's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 28 (Thurs.) at Auburn

    Sept. 6 vs. Vanderbilt

    Sept. 13 vs. UCF

    Sept. 20 vs. Indiana

    Sept. 27 BYE

    Oct. 4 at Tennessee

    Oct. 11 BYE

    Oct. 18 at Florida

    Oct. 25 vs. Georgia

    Nov. 1 vs. Texas A&M

    Nov. 8 at South Carolina

    Nov. 15 vs. Kentucky

    Nov. 22 vs. Arkansas

    Nov. 29 vs. Kansas (in Kansas City)*

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

South Carolina Gamecocks

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    South Carolina has its traditional end-of-the-season game vs. Clemson, as well as out-of-conference games versus East Carolina, Furman and Troy on the schedule. Sorry, Troy, you're the odd man out.

    The Gamecocks host Georgia in Week 2, but must travel to Florida the week before the Clemson game. Yes, Florida and South Carolina have bye weeks in Week 12, so we could have conceivably kept the traditional cupcake or placed a bye week before the intra-state rivalries each program plays against ACC foes on the final weekend of the season.

    But be honest, South Carolina fans, would you rather have a bye week before Clemson, or have a week off before playing at Florida and at Clemson to close the season?

    Take the risk.

    The Gamecocks start their cross-divisional rivalry with Texas A&M, and get Alabama and LSU out of the West. Steve Spurrier probably won't be too happy about that.

    South Carolina's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. East Carolina (in Charlotte)

    Sept. 6 vs. Georgia

    Sept. 13 BYE

    Sept. 20 vs. Alabama

    Sept. 27 vs. LSU

    Oct. 4 at Kentucky

    Oct. 11 at Texas A&M

    Oct. 18 vs. Furman

    Oct. 25 at Vanderbilt

    Nov. 1 vs. Tennessee

    Nov. 8 vs. Missouri

    Nov. 15 BYE

    Nov. 22 at Florida

    Nov. 29 at Clemson


Tennessee Volunteers

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    Reconfiguring Tennessee's schedule was rather easy.

    The Volunteers have out-of-conference games with Chattanooga and at Oklahoma, which made it easy. Troy was dropped from South Carolina's schedule, so the Trojans will instead play at Tennessee.

    The rest of Tennessee's schedule was rather straightforward. The Vols have their traditional cross-division rivalry with Alabama, as well as games versus Ole Miss and Mississippi State out of the West.

    A three-game road trip in November is tough, but a week off before and after Alabama is a nice luxury for the Vols.

    Tennessee's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Chattanooga

    Sept. 6 vs. Ole Miss

    Sept. 13 at Oklahoma

    Sept. 20 vs. Florida

    Sept. 27 at Georgia

    Oct. 4 vs. Missouri

    Oct. 11 BYE

    Oct. 18 vs. Alabama

    Oct. 25 BYE

    Nov. 1 at South Carolina

    Nov. 8 at Mississippi State

    Nov. 15 at Vanderbilt

    Nov. 22 vs. Troy*

    Nov. 29 vs. Kentucky

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Vanderbilt has UMass and Wake Forest already on its 2014 schedule, so it needed another out-of-conference game.

    So why not have Vanderbilt and Duke get together?

    The Commodores will play their annual cross-division rivalry with Ole Miss and add Arkansas and Auburn out of the West.

    I'm sure head coach James Franklin appreciates the bye weeks bracketing the home game against South Carolina.

    Vanderbilt's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Duke*

    Sept. 6 at Missouri

    Sept. 13 vs. Florida

    Sept. 20 at Ole Miss

    Sept. 27 vs. Arkansas

    Oct. 4 vs. UMass

    Oct. 11 at Georgia

    Oct. 18 BYE

    Oct. 25 vs. South Carolina

    Nov. 1 BYE

    Nov. 8 vs. Auburn

    Nov. 15 vs. Tennessee

    Nov. 22 at Kentucky

    Nov. 29 vs. Wake Forest

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Alabama will play West Virginia in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta, host Florida Atlantic the following week and get a visit from Western Carolina before the Iron Bowl. Those games are set in stone.

    The Crimson Tide will visit Tennessee on the "Third Saturday of October" and also play South Carolina and Florida out of the East. Sure, that's a tall order, but this is Alabama, and Alabama can handle it.

    That LSU game in Week 12 looms large and could decide the SEC West.

    Alabama's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 31 vs. West Virginia (in Atlanta)

    Sept. 6 vs. Florida Atlantic

    Sept. 13 BYE

    Sept. 20 at South Carolina

    Sept. 27 vs. Texas A&M

    Oct. 4 at Ole Miss

    Oct. 11 vs. Mississippi State

    Oct. 18 at Tennessee

    Oct. 25 vs. Florida

    Nov. 1 BYE

    Nov. 8 at Arkansas

    Nov. 15 at LSU

    Nov. 22 vs. Western Carolina

    Nov. 29 vs. Auburn

Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Arkansas only has Northern Illinois on its 2014 out-of-conference schedule, which means we had some scheduling to do.

    Welcome Arkansas State to the docket.

    Yes, the game that can't ever seem to get scheduled will be played in 2014 on Week 1. 

    Get your popcorn ready.

    Also on the schedule is South Alabama, thanks to the fact that Georgia's meeting with South Alabama had to be moved to accommodate the ninth conference game.

    Arkansas will have to visit LSU on back-to-back seasons and will kick off the border war with Missouri. The neutral-site Texas A&M game is counted as a road game.

    Arkansas' Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 31 vs. Arkansas State*

    Sept. 6 at Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)

    Sept. 13 BYE

    Sept. 20 vs. Northern Illinois

    Sept. 27 at Vanderbilt

    Oct. 4 vs. Georgia

    Oct. 11 BYE

    Oct. 18 vs. Ole Miss

    Oct. 25 at Auburn

    Nov. 1 vs. Mississippi State

    Nov. 8 vs. Alabama 

    Nov. 15 vs. South Alabama

    Nov. 22 at Missouri

    Nov. 28 (Friday) at LSU

     

    *Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

Auburn Tigers

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    In addition to its game at Kansas State, Auburn has holes to fill in its out-of-conference schedule.

    Enter Troy and Georgia State.

    It may not be desirable to play Troy, which is just down the road from Auburn. But it should happen. Add in the tuneup against Georgia State between Georgia and Alabama, and Auburn's schedule is complete.

    November is the key stretch for the Tigers, who will have home games against Texas A&M, LSU and Arkansas. The Tigers will kick off the season at home on Thursday night against Missouri.

    Auburn's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 28 (Thurs.) vs. Missouri

    Sept. 6 vs. Troy*

    Sept. 13 at Mississippi State

    Sept. 20 at Kansas State

    Sept. 27 BYE

    Oct. 4 vs. Texas A&M

    Oct. 11 vs. LSU

    Oct. 18 BYE

    Oct. 25 vs. Arkansas

    Nov. 1 at Ole Miss

    Nov. 8 at Vanderbilt

    Nov. 15 at Georgia

    Nov. 22 vs. Georgia State*

    Nov. 29 at Alabama

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

LSU Tigers

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    You know that out-of-conference game between LSU and Wisconsin in Green Bay that's being discussed? Yeah, that's happening. 

    No, not late in the season (sorry, Big Ten folks), but in Week 1.

    LSU will also host New Mexico State and Louisiana-Monroe in 2014, but it has to move its game with New Mexico State back a week to Week 4.

    The Tigers keep Florida as their permanent cross-division rival (sorry, Les Miles) and play South Carolina and Kentucky out of the East.

    LSU's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Wisconsin (in Green Bay)*

    Sept. 6 BYE

    Sept. 13 vs. Ole Miss

    Sept. 20 vs. New Mexico State

    Sept. 27 at South Carolina

    Oct. 4 at Florida

    Oct. 11 at Auburn

    Oct. 18 vs. Kentucky

    Oct. 25 at Texas A&M

    Nov. 1 BYE

    Nov. 8 vs. ULM

    Nov. 15 vs. Alabama

    Nov. 22 at Mississippi State

    Nov. 28 (Friday) vs. Arkansas

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup

Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    We had issues to deal with on the Mississippi State schedule. The Bulldogs have out-of-conference games  with Southern Miss, UT-Martin, South Alabama and UAB in 2014, so we had to drop the game against UAB.

    Sorry, Blazers.

    The Bulldogs have a bye week before and after the game at Alabama, which I'm sure pleases head coach Dan Mullen. They keep the Kentucky game out of the East and add Florida and Tennessee to the mix.

    Yes, the Egg Bowl is on Thanksgiving night...right where it should be.

    Mississippi State's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Southern Miss

    Sept. 6 vs. UT-Martin

    Sept. 13 vs. Auburn

    Sept. 20 at South Alabama

    Sept. 27 at Florida

    Oct. 4 BYE

    Oct. 11 at Alabama

    Oct. 18 BYE

    Oct. 25 at Kentucky

    Nov. 1 at Arkansas

    Nov. 8 vs. Tennessee

    Nov. 15 vs. Texas A&M

    Nov. 22 vs. LSU

    Nov. 27 (Thursday) at Ole Miss

Ole Miss Rebels

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    Ole Miss will open the season with Boise State in Atlanta in the first of two Chick-Fil-A Kickoff games. With Alabama vs. West Virginia taking top billing, the game against the Broncos will be relegated to Friday night, much like the N.C. State-Tennessee game was in 2012.

    They will also play Memphis and UL-Lafayette out of conference, but dropped a game against Presbyterian to make room for the ninth SEC game. The UL-Lafayette game had to be moved to later in the season.

    The Rebels keep their cross-division rivalry with Vanderbilt and also add Tennessee and Kentucky out of the East.

    Ole Miss' Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 29 (Friday) vs. Boise State (in Atlanta)

    Sept. 6 at Tennessee

    Sept. 13 at LSU

    Sept. 20 vs. Vanderbilt

    Sept. 27 vs. Memphis

    Oct. 4 vs. Alabama

    Oct. 11 at Kentucky

    Oct. 18 at Arkansas

    Oct. 25 BYE

    Nov. 1 vs. Auburn

    Nov. 8 BYE

    Nov. 15 vs. UL-Lafayette

    Nov. 22 at Texas A&M

    Nov. 27 (Thursday) vs. Mississippi State

Texas A&M Aggies

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    Texas A&M has games against Lamar and SMU scheduled out of conference, so I took the liberty of bringing back the game versus Texas because it needs to be played—in College Station.

    Don't bring up politics. It's back. Accept it. Own it. Don't be scared, Texas.

    The Aggies also start their cross-division rivalry with South Carolina, play former Big 12 foe Missouri and will play between the hedges at Georgia.

    The bye week before LSU will be nice, but that game at Alabama will be the headliner.

    Texas A&M's Hypothetical 2014 Schedule

    Aug. 30 vs. Lamar

    Sept. 6 vs. Arkansas

    Sept. 13 BYE

    Sept. 20 at SMU

    Sept. 27 at Alabama

    Oct. 4 at Auburn

    Oct. 11 vs. South Carolina

    Oct. 18 BYE

    Oct. 25 vs. LSU

    Nov. 1 at Missouri

    Nov. 8 at Georgia

    Nov. 15 at Mississippi State

    Nov. 22 vs. Ole Miss

    Nov. 29 vs. Texas*

     

    * Hypothetical out-of-conference matchup