The Southeastern Conference is sticking with an eight game conference season. The league was debating going to a nine game season after adding Texas A&M and Missouri, but Sunday they announced they will stick with the formula they have has used in recent years.
The schedule will include six divisional opponents and two non-divisional opponents. One non-divisional opponent will rotate each year, the other will be permanent. Tennessee’s permanent opponent remains the Alabama Crimson Tide. Vanderbilt’s is the Ole Miss Rebels.
Tennessee was thrilled with the SEC’s decision to keep its rivalry with the Tide alive. Athletic Director Dave Hart stated, “Chancellor Cheek and I have strongly and consistently advocated that this rivalry be preserved regardless of any other outcomes resulting from conversations about football scheduling.”
The big change in scheduling comes in the non-conference games. Beginning in 2016 SEC teams will be required to schedule one game each season against another one of the “power” conferences. Those are the Big 10, Pac 12, ACC and Big 12.