SEC Reportedly Will Keep New 8-Game Format Until at Least 2014

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 28, 2013

Sep 8, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; SEC logo on the field before a game between the Texas A&M Aggies and Florida Gators at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The new 6-1-1 SEC football schedule format set to debut in 2013 is garnering some criticism, but it reportedly won't be changing anytime soon. 

News comes via league commissioner Mike Slive, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

In the "6-1-1 format," each SEC squad will play each of the other six teams within its division, one permanent cross-division game and one cross-division game that rotates every year.    

The permanent cross-division battles will be as follows:

East vs West
Tennessee   Alabama
Georgia   Auburn
Florida   LSU
Missouri   Arkansas
Kentucky   Mississippi State
Vanderbilt   Ole Miss
South Carolina   Texas A&M

Most recently, LSU head coach Les Miles voiced his supreme displeasure for this type of scheduling format, noting that his squad is forced to play arguably the most difficult cross-division (Florida) battle of any West team each and every year. 

While it's true that the Tigers may see a tougher schedule more often than not, there are other factors that go into creating the schedule. 

The most notable is the perseverance of traditional rivalries. 

Some of these matchups—Alabama vs. Tennessee, Georgia vs. Auburn, Florida vs. LSU, in particular—bring a special allure to the conference, and if the league did away with them, there would undoubtedly be a fallout. 

With the new SEC television network starting in 2014, it can't afford to remove any premier games that would potentially lose viewers. This schedule allows for some of the conference's best rivalries to stay intact year in and year out.    

So, while many such as Miles may not like this system, they will have to get used to it for the time being.