Southeastern Conference Schedule is Redesigned
After adding two new schools to the Southeastern Conference for the first time since 1991, the SEC has been making changes to line out the 2013 season football schedule.
The SEC added Missouri to the Eastern Division of the conference and Texas A&M to the Western Division.
“For the foreseeable future, the SEC is playing eight conference games with each team playing six in its own division and two outside of the division,” said Charles Bloom, SEC Associate Commissioner of Media Relations, in an email interview.
The outside division games are split in two categories: the common opponent and the rotating opponent. The SEC announced Missouri to be Arkansas’ common opponent at its annual spring meeting, beginning in the 2013 season, Bloom said.
This new schedule would mean that each team will have played every other team in the conference in over 10 years.
The matchup with Missouri could be a new main rivalry for Arkansas, as the schools are closer than LSU and South Carolina. The two teams most recently met at the 2008 Cotton Bowl Classic when Missouri beat Arkansas 38-7.
“I’m excited that there could be a new border war with Mizzou,” said Taylor McWherter, senior UA transfer from Missouri Southern. “I never really cared for the LSU rivalry, especially because of Les Miles, but Steve Spurrier kept South Carolina a good match every year. ”
Missouri has struggled with its entrance into the SEC with no conference wins, unlike their counterpart Texas A&M, which has two conference wins against Arkansas and Ole Miss.
This year, Arkansas’ non-divisional opponents are the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Kentucky Wildcats.
As usual, certain games will remain the same such as the rivalry between LSU and Arkansas. SEC newcomer Texas A&M will continue to battle with Arkansas in Cowboys Stadium in 2014. Next year’s game will take place in Fayetteville.
However, South Carolina will no longer be a common opponent and rivalry for Arkansas due to the cross-division rotation.
LSU and Florida faced off last weekend in a non-divisional matchup resulting in a loss for LSU. This knocked LSU down to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and boosted Florida to No. 4.
In the week seven football standings, there are four SEC teams in the top 10 — Alabama, South Carolina, LSU and Florida — more than any other conference. Both the Eastern and Western divisions boast two teams in the top 10.