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Sunday, June 16, 2024

SEC Sticks With 8-Game Conference Slate, Nixing Divisions In 2024

  • Conference could still expand schedule in 2025 or at a later date.
  • The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 all play nine-game conference schedules.
Online Athens

The SEC spring meetings have come and gone — and its schools have opted to hold off on expanding its conference football schedule for the time being.

When Texas and Oklahoma enter the SEC next fall, making it a 16-team conference, teams will continue to play eight conference opponents per season — despite a push from some schools to expand that number to nine. 

The Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 play nine conference games, while the ACC plays eight.

The SEC confirmed that there will be no divisions from 2024 on, and the conference championship game will be played between the two teams with the best record.

No scheduling plans have been made beyond 2024, so a bigger conference schedule could still be in the SEC’s future. More money will be flowing into the conference next year when ESPN starts paying $710 million annually for SEC rights.

“Over time, we won’t be shying away from anything,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. “We just didn’t add another game during a period of transition. Certainly nobody wants to go through this every year.”

The only schools that voted in favor of a nine-game schedule were Florida, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, and Texas A&M, according to the Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, while Oklahoma and Texas also support the idea but haven’t voted yet.

Keeping The Peace

The SEC also decided to increase fines for fans rushing the field or court after games.

A first offense will now cost a school $100,000, up from $50,000. A second will set it back $250,000 (previously $100,000), while a third and any subsequent offenses will cost $500,000 (previously $250,000).

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