FanPost

Another 16 team scheduling idea.


Now that the SEC is growing again, people have been speculating on the new scheduling format. With most assuming we go to 9 conference games, people have suggested:

1) 8 team conferences (see everyone home and home in the other division every 8 years)

2) 3 permanent rivals, rotating everyone else (see everyone home and home in 4 years)

3) "Pods", which can get everyone in 4 or 6 years, depending on how you do it.

With the tangled rivalries of SEC schools, choice 2 or 3 is guaranteed to have some schools leave important rivals off. Of course choice 1 will take twice as long to see everyone.

I'm suggesting another way of doing it, which lets more rivals play more frequently while playing the remaing schools more often than every 8 years:

-Plan a 6 year cycle, where everyone has at least 1 home and away with every other school in that time.

-Give each school a certain number of Primary Rivals (schools they play every year) and Secondary rivals (schools they play 4 times in 6 years). Not all schools need to have the same ratio: One school could theoretically have 6 permanent rivals and no secondary rivals, while another school could have 0 permanent rivals and 12 secondary rivals.

-The advantages of this format is that it allows schools to play historic rivals and/or regional match-ups more often, while still getting a decent rotation of every school in the league.

-The disadvantage is that it's very hard to get it set up. It took me a few weeks of fooling around in spare time to get a schedule that actually works, and it's definitely not perfect. It would be very easy to go and say: this school should have A, B, C, and D as permanent rivals and E, F, G, and H as secondary rivals, but when you're trying to balance all 16 team schedules while keeping track of Home and Away (so your schedule against a secondary rival doesn't go Home, Away, Away Home) it gets really difficult. But the people who would design this type of schedule presumably understand more about how to do this and have programs that would make it easier.

So let's get to the sample schedule I came up with that shows it is possible:

-Y1 is year 1 (Y3 is year 3, etc.); year 2 is the same as year 1 with the home and away designations reversed (same for Y4 and Y3, Y5 and Y5). After year 6 you would go back to year 1. Obviously you could start on year 2, 3, or whatever.

-Y1 was designed to be 2023 or 2025 (Y2 would be 2024 or 2026). I started with most of the currently played rivalries being played in the same home sites in those years, though some have since been flipped. The 4 teams with annual ACC rivalries have 5 home conference games the year they visit their ACC rivals. I didn't consult with any other schedule out-of-conference games.

-Most schools have stronger and weaker years, and sometimes fairly stronger home schedules than away.

-At the end, some of the secondary rivals were set up just to make the final schedule work. There were some secondary rivals I wanted to set up, but I couldn't make work without going back and redoing lots of other teams schedules.

-Auburn has probably the hardest set of rivalries here, while Kentucky has the easiest.

-Again, I assume the professional schedule-makers could make an even better version, given we have at least a year before the 16 team conference would start.

Anyway, here it is:

UF: Annual Rivals:UG,SC,AU; Secondary Rivals: LSU,OU,UT,VU,UK,OM
Y1 H (UG,UT,VU,A&M) A (SC,UA,AU,MU,AR)
Y3 H (UG,LSU,VU,UT) A (SC,UK,AU,OM,OU)
Y5 H (UG,LSU,MSU,TU) A (AU,OM,UK,SC,OU)
UG: Annual Rivals:SC,AU,UF; Secondary Rivals:UA,VU,UK,UT,A&M,OU
Y1 H (SC,UK,AU,UA,OM) A (UF,UT,VU,OU)
Y3 H (SC,A&M,AU,LSU,AR) A (UF,VU,MU,UT)
Y5 H (SC,UK,AU,UA,A&M) A (UF,MSU,OU,TU)
SC: Annual Rivals:UF,UG,UK,AU; Secondary Rivals:VU,MSU,A&M,UT
Y1 H (UF,VU,UA,MSU) A (UG,UK,UT,AU,TU)
Y3 H (UF,AR,OM,A&M) A (UG,UK,LSU,OU,AU)
Y5 H (UF,MSU,VU,A&M) A (UG,UK,UT,MU,AU)
UK: Annual Rivals:SC,UT,VU,MSU; Secondary Rivals: UF,UG,OU,MU
Y1 H (SC,MU,UT,AU,OU) A (UG,MSU,VU,UA)
Y3 H (UF,SC,UT,A&M,OM) A (MSU,VU,LSU,AR)
Y5 H (UF,SC,UT,OU,MU) A (UG,VU,MSU,TU)
UA: Annual Rivals:UT,AU; Secondary Rivals: LSU,OU,OM,UG,VU,MU,A&M,MSU
Y1 H (UF,UK,UT,LSU) A (UG,SC,MSU,AU,A&M)
Y3 H (UT,TU,OU,OM) A (VU,AU,MSU,MU,A&M)
Y5 H (UT,LSU,OU,OM) A (UG,AU,VU,MU,AR)
AU: Annual Rivals:UF,SC,UA,UG; Secondary Rivals: MSU,UT,LSU,OM
Y1 H (UF,SC,UA,VU,A&M) A (UG,UK,UT,LSU)
Y3 H (UF,SC,UA,MU,MSU) A (UG,UT,OM,TU)
Y5 H (UF,SC,UA,MSU,OU) A (UG,LSU,AR,OM)
UT: Annual Rivals:VU,UK,UA; Secondary Rivals:UG,SC,AU,TU,UF,MU
Y1 H (UG,SC,AU,VU,TU) A (UF,UK,UA,MU)
Y3 H (UG,AU,VU,OU,MSU) A (UF,UK,UA,MU)
Y5 H (SC,VU,TU,AR,OM) A (UK,UA,LSU,A&M)
VU: Annual Rivals:UK,UT; Secondary Rivals:UG,UA,TU,AR,UF,SC,OM,OU
Y1 H (UG,UK,TU,AR) A (UF,SC,AU,UT,OM)
Y3 H (UG,UK,UA,TU) A (UF,UT,MSU,OU,LSU)
Y5 H (UK,UA,AR,A&M) A (SC,UT,OU,OM,MU)
LSU: Annual Rivals:A&M,AR,OM; Secondary Rivals:AU,MSU,UF,UA,OU,TU
Y1 H (AU,A&M,AR,MSU,MU) A (UA,OM,TU,OU)
Y3 H (SC,UK,VU,A&M,AR) A (UF,UG,OM,TU)
Y5 H (AU,UT,A&M,AR,MSU) A (UF,UA,OM,OU)
A&M: Annual Rivals:TU,OM,LSU,AR; Secondary Rivals:UA,MU,UG,SC
Y1 H (UA,TU,OM,OU) A (UF,AU,LSU,AR,MSU)
Y3 H (UA,TU,OM,MU) A (UG,SC,UK,LSU,AR)
Y5 H (UT,TU,OM,MU) A (UG,SC,VU,LSU,AR)
AR: Annual Rivals:A&M,MU,LSU,TU; Secondary Rivals:OU,VU,OM,MSU
Y1 H (UF,A&M,OU,MU) A (VU,LSU,OM,TU,MSU)
Y3 H (UK,A&M,OU,MU) A (UG,SC,LSU,OM,TU)
Y5 H (UA,AU,A&M,MU) A (UT,VU,LSU,TU,MSU)
OM: Annual Rivals:LSU,MSU,A&M; Secondary Rivals: VU,AU,AR,UA,MU,UF
Y1 H (VU,LSU,AR,TU,MSU) A (UG,A&M,OU,MU)
Y3 H (UF,AU,LSU,AR,MSU) A (SC,UK,UA,A&M)
Y5 H (UF,AU,VU,LSU,MSU) A (UA,UT,A&M,MU)
OU: Annual Rivals:TU,MU; Secondary Rivals: UF,UG,LSU,UA,AR,VU,MSU,UK
Y1 H (UG,LSU,OM,MSU) A (UK,A&M,AR,MU) TU
Y3 H (UF,SC,VU,MSU) A (UA,UT,AR,MU) TU
Y5 H (UF,UG,VU,LSU) A (UK,UA,AU,MU) TU
TU: Annual Rivals:OU,A&M,AR,MU; Secondary Rivals: LSU,UT,VU,MSU
Y1 H (SC,LSU,AR,MU) A (UT,VU,A&M,OM) OU
Y3 H (AU,LSU,AR,MU) A (UA,VU,A&M,MSU) OU
Y5 H (UG,UK,AR,MU) A (UF,UT,A&M,MSU) OU
MU: Annual Rivals:TU,OU,AR; Secondary Rivals: UA,A&M,UT,OM,MSU,UK
Y1 H (UF,UT,OM,OU,MSU) A (UK,LSU,AR,TU)
Y3 H (UG,UA,UT,OU,MSU) A (AU,A&M,AR,TU)
Y5 H (SC,UA,VU,OM,OU) A (UK,A&M,AR,TU)
MSU: Annual Rivals:OM,UK; Secondary Rivals: UA,LSU,OU,TU,AU,AR,MU,SC
Y1 H (UK,UA,A&M,AR) A (SC,LSU,OM,OU,MU)
Y3 H (UK,UA,VU,TU) A (AU,UT,OM,OU,MU)
Y5 H (UG,UK,AR,TU) A (UF,SC,AU,LSU,OM)

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