During its media days earlier this week, the Big 12 Conference unveiled a new slogan that both refuted the need for a football championship game and praised its full round-robin scheduling model.
The concept of "one true champion" comes from the fact that the 10-team Big 12 is able to have each team play all the others with a nine-game league schedule. If only that were possible with the rest of the power conferences, or with all other FBS leagues in general.
Unfortunately, it isn't. With 11, 12 or 14 teams to schedule against one another, and only eight league games (or nine, in the case of the Pac-12) with which to do so, some matchups get left out in the cold. This is particularly troublesome in the SEC, in which, along with having six annual divisional opponents, each team has a "permanent rival" from the other division it'll play every year.
The SEC has already released its opponent pairings through 2025, illustrating how certain teams will go five to seven years between meetings. Longstanding rivalries that have existed since the early days of the conference now get put on long hiatuses because of realignment, writes AL.com's Kevin Scarbinsky:
This is the kind of distance the SEC created when it chose to stay with an eight-game conference schedule with one permanent and one rotating opponent from the opposite division despite the league's expansion to 14 schools.
This isn't a problem only in the SEC, though. Every FBS conference (other than the aforementioned Big 12) has pairings that won't happen this year, including several that would make for great games. We've identified 10 of them we wish were on the schedule in 2014.