The formula the conference used was preserving primary rivalries, preventing repeat travel games, ensuring that every team played with Oklahoma or Texas and trying to balance the level of difficulty based on a set of confidential internal power rankings. It’s that last bit that raised questions among some fan bases.
Following is a quick look at the SEC’s work (teams are listed alphabetically):
Home games: Auburn, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina
Road games: LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Takeaways: It looks like the SEC plucked three former East opponents that served as patsies for Georgia the past several years and plopped them onto the Crimson Tide’s schedule. The road games ramp up the difficulty value considerably. Will a 73-year-old Nick Saban still be at the steering wheel?
Home games: LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas
Road games: Auburn, Mississippi State, Missouri, Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)
Takeaways: The Razorbacks made out better than they did with the pandemic schedule of 2020, considered one of the more challenging slates ever. The Volunteers return after being in Fayetteville only four years ago. There’s an old Southwest Conference feel with Texas, A&M and Oklahoma on the docket.
Home games: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Road games: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri
Takeaways: The Tigers knew they probably would get Alabama and Georgia, as they do every year, and there is some disappointment among fans not to get Florida back. But the overall newness was being celebrated on the Plains, as well as Auburn skipping out on LSU for the first time since 1991.
Home games: Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Road games: Georgia (in Jacksonville), Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas
Takeaways: The Gators’ slate appears to be among the tougher ones, dependent upon where coach Billy Napier will be in his rebuild of the program. As it looks now, they could be underdogs in five or more games. Coupled with Florida’s nonconference lineup, it looks challenging.
Home games: Auburn, Florida (in Jacksonville), Mississippi State, Tennessee
Road games: Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas
Takeaways: Returning to Tuscaloosa after having played there only four years ago raised the ire of some of the Bulldogs’ faithful. But that trip in 2020 also was a one-off because of the pandemic. Not many are excited about the six-game slate set for Sanford Stadium, but UGA’s visit to Austin will be the first since 1958.
Home games: Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Road games: Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas
Takeaways: The Wildcats preserve their three main rivals in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, but get a very challenging road slate.
Home games: Alabama, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt
Road games: Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M
Takeaways: LSU made out as well or better than anybody. Arkansas, Florida and A&M are usual foes, and the Tigers get Bama and Oklahoma at home. The expectation is they’ll do well in Year 3 under Brian Kelly.
Home games: Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Oklahoma
Road games: Arkansas, Florida, LSU, South Carolina
Takeaways: The Rebels, who play at Georgia in 2023, aren’t thrilled with having to play the back-to-back national champions in back-to-back seasons. Otherwise, the consensus is coach Lane Kiffin got one of the league’s more manageable schedules.
Home games: Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M
Road games: Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas
Takeaways: The Bulldogs are glad not to have to play Alabama for the first time in years. But their road slate must be considered among the tougher of all.
Home games: Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt
Road games: Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M
Takeaways: The good news for the Tigers is they don’t have to play Georgia, Florida, Tennessee or Kentucky for the first time since joining the league in 2012. The bad is they add Bama and an old Big 12 nemesis.
Home games: Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (in Dallas)
Road games: Auburn, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss
Takeaways: The consensus opinion was that the Sooners got walloped by the SEC. Welcoming the Crimson Tide to storied Memorial Stadium highlights a powerful home schedule.
Home games: LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, Texas A&M
Road games: Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt
Takeaways: The Gamecocks replace Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, which they’ve played every year since joining the league in 1992, with Oklahoma, Ole Miss and LSU. Meanwhile, they keep Alabama, which was previously on the 2024 itinerary.
Home games: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State
Road games: Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt
Takeaways: The Volunteers managed to preserve five rivals – that includes Vandy – while adding Mississippi State, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Bama’s return to Neyland will be must-see TV, but will it be on the third Saturday in October?
Home games: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State
Road games: Arkansas, Oklahoma (in Dallas), Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Takeaways: TV execs certainly excited with the prospects here, especially if a quarterback named Arch Manning is under center for the ‘Horns. Texans are particularly glad to see the Aggies back in the rotation for the first time since 2011.
Home games: Arkansas (in Arlington, Texas), LSU, Missouri, Texas
Road games: Auburn, Florida, Miss. State, South Carolina
Takeaways: There is a distinct Big 12/Southwest Conference feel to the Aggies’ slate with Texas, Missouri and Arkansas in the fold. The Longhorns’ return to Kyle Field will be universally celebrated and widely watched.
Home games: Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
Road games: Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri
Takeaways: The Commodores drew no favor from the league in drawing five perennial top-10 opponents. But the city of Nashville must be excited about the home lineup.