I love the way one of the greatest rivalries in SEC history is casually tossed away in the last line of this Chris Low post about SEC expansion:
… The SEC has said it has a contingency plan to play next season with 13 teams, although that wouldn’t be ideal.
There have been reports that the SEC rejected West Virginia, and it makes sense that Missouri would probably want to remain in the Big 12 if it survives.
Officials at Auburn have said they wouldn’t oppose a move to the Eastern Division. Alabama and Auburn could still play every year in that format and also could potentially meet in the SEC championship game. However, such a move would mean rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-LSU would no longer be played every year.
I obviously don’t have a dog in this hunt, but if the cost of going to 13 schools means throwing away a perfectly good, historical rivalry* like Alabama-Tennessee, then the SEC needs to get its collective head out of its collective ass and go back to the schedule drawing board. Going to a nine-game conference schedule wouldn’t be a bad place to start, and before somebody objects to an unbalanced home/away set up with nine, what the hell do they think is going to happen with 13 conference teams?
Sell off enough pieces of your soul and eventually you lose what made you special in the first place.
*I can’t help but reference one of my more favorite movie lines here: