This season, Alabama has four of its six games against SEC West opponents at home. Texas A&M has just two. This was done (presumably) so that the Aggies would not have Alabama, Arkansas and LSU all coming to College Station in the same year. Templeton confirmed that going forward all teams will have three home division games and three away division games. How to correct the problem?
“There will be more than one repeat game,” said Templeton.
Any repeat games are expected to occur in 2013 and 2014 and will be avoided from that point on…
… Each team will retain one permanent rivalry game against a non-division opponent. South Carolina and Texas A&M will become permanent rivals, allowing Missouri and Arkansas, which share a border, to play annually. However, if all of the current permanent rivalry games simply flip to the opposite venue next season, it is not mathematically possible to establish a rotation where a team can cycle through all of the schools in the opposite division.
“Some interesting games will have to go back to a certain venue [two years in a row],” Templeton said.
To best establish a full rotation, all permanent rivalry games would have to be hosted by SEC West teams one year, and SEC East teams the next. In 2012, three of the five continuing rivalry games are at SEC East venues (Alabama-Tennessee, LSU-Florida, Mississippi State-Kentucky) and two at SEC West venues (Georgia-Auburn, Vanderbilt-Ole Miss). Therefore, the logical solution is for all permanent rivalry games, including South Carolina-Texas A&M and Missouri-Arkansas to be played in SEC West stadiums in 2013, so that three of the five rivalries can stay on their current rotation.
Congrats, SEC. You’ve made “logical solution” into an oxymoron.