It turned out to not be so much a declaration from the SEC of what the schedule will be for the next dozen years, but an endorsement of the scheduling format for the 14-team conference. And -- surprise of all surprises -- the SEC is going with the scheduling format that everyone thought the SEC would go with.
Slive says SEC's 6-1-1 football model will be for 3 or 4 years, but could go longer. No chance of scheduling 10 years out— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) June 1, 2012
Sorry, Les Miles. You and Florida are stuck with each other for at least a few more years. And as some had suggested, the SEC will shorten the rotation by having a different team take that second interdivision spot each season, rather than being a home-and-home.
A good guess would be that the three or four years model will give the SEC a chance to look at whether the nine-game schedules in other conferences will give teams from those conferences a leg up in the new playoff model. That takes the SEC two or three years into the playoff era -- assuming it actually gets started -- and gives them enough time to consider whether to add another interdivision team to the mix.
But the big news is that Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn fans can rest easy. The traditional SEC rivalries are safe for now. And LSU will now presumably never contend for a national title again because the Tigers have to play a team that is 7-9 in the SEC over the last two seasons.