SEC announcing 2024 football schedule tonight
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Peyton Davis
Everything and everyone surrounding the college football world is planning for a major shift in 2024 on everything from significant conference realignment to the playoff format expanding from four to 12 teams. The SEC is right in the middle of all the most significant changes, with the conference adding longtime BIG 12 powerhouses, Texas and Oklahoma, to the their field. The shift from 14 to 16 teams has led to SEC commissioner, Greg Sankey, announcing the conference is abolishing the East/West divisional format and move to a linear standings model.
“They haven’t been (abolished) yet. But our focus, as I’ve indicated, has been consistently on the single standings model,” Sankey said at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida. “I was told not to say single division. A single standings model has been and remains the focus.”
The scheduling format has been the main topic of controversy throughout the offseason because of the denial, by a vote of 9-5 by the conference’s current members, of the proposed nine game conference schedule format that would consist of three permanent opponents and a rotation in the remaining six games. Instead the league will stay with an eight game format in 2024, but Sankey has made it very clear that it is temporary – and they are evaluating their options for the future beyond that.
In addition to the eight game conference schedule, each team will also be required to play an opponent from one of the other power five conferences (Big 12, ACC, Big 10 or Pac-12) in 2024. This is something that Nick Saban has been a supporter of in order “to try to improve our strength of schedule,” when he discussed the possibility of a nine game schedule format going forward at the SEC Spring Meetings.
The complete schedule is set to be announced on Wednesday night in an hour-long special on SEC Network at 6 p.m. CT, and there have already been leaks that give fans an idea of details and matchups that will impact the schedule in 2024. Such as how the league will map out the schedules of the conference newcomers.
This likely means Alabama will see Oklahoma in the regular season for the first time since their 2002-2003 home-and-home because of the Tide already being in the middle of a two year series with Texas. along with Oklahoma, one of the Tide’s other eight SEC opponents has been teased – and it’s a fairly significant one.
Many anticipated this happening, but it appears that the division-less format going forward will mean more prevalent regular season games between Alabama and Georgia, which is simply good for the sport no matter who you cheer for. Additionally, it appears as if there will be no Alabama-Texas A&M matchup in 2024, which will be the first time the two haven’t played since A&M joined the league in 2012. Other opponents already confirmed for the Tide include the team traveling to Madison, WI for the beginning of a home-and-home series with the Wisconsin Badgers, as well as the Iron Bowl – unsurprisingly – not going away anytime soon.
Classic matchups between Tennessee along with LSU should also be expected for the Alabama in 2024, but there are bound to be surprises in tonight’s schedule release that will spark loads of discourse and controversy that will most likely end with criticism of Alabama and Nick Saban somehow. Nevertheless, tonight will begin the process of a unprecedented change throughout the landscape of college football beginning in 2024.