A couple of weeks ago down in Destin, it was revealed that the SEC would stick with an eight-game conference schedule during the 2024 football season. The debate was an eight or nine game slate, with Oklahoma and Texas joining the league ahead of 2024. With divisions becoming a thing of the past following the 2023 season, a new format was needed.
At least for now, the SEC opted to stick with eight games. They left the door open to change things for 2025, buying a little time to come up with a permanent solution that everyone can agree on.
The other part of the 2024 band-aid deal? A made for TV schedule reveal, of course. Eliminating divisions leaves us without a schedule template for 2024, and the SEC now has quite the complicated dilemma to navigate. They’ve got the impossible task of preserving traditional matchups, while also maintaining fairness and balance.
Games like Alabama-Auburn, Georgia-Florida and Mississippi State-Ole Miss aren’t going anywhere. But what about those second-tier rivalry games? We know what the Alabama-Tennessee game means to everyone, but it certainly would fall behind the Auburn matchup on the Alabama side of the equation. Games like Alabama-LSU, Tennessee-Florida or Tennessee-Kentucky may now only happen every few seasons. But for 2024? Well, there really aren’t any rules or structure to follow.
“We have a combination of the expectation of fairness and balance — obviously we’ve done any number of retrospective analyses of win-loss records,” Sankey said in Destin. “We’ve been asked to make the competitive disparity in strength of schedule more narrow than it is and achieve a perfect balance. That’d be great if you can make an undefeated team play an undefeated team.
“I think I’ve been clear about honoring traditional rivals so I’m excited about that, but I’m not going to give my schedule away right now. We understand the priorities. (We will) definitely to the extent we can (schedule secondary rivals).”
There’s also this from Peter Burns this morning, who reports every team will play either Texas or Oklahoma during the 2024 season. So Tennessee will either get the Longhorns or the Sooners in ‘24, but we don’t know where just yet.
BREAKING:— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) June 14, 2023
Each of the SEC teams will play either Texas or Oklahoma once in the upcoming 2024 CFB season.
So every SEC team will have Longhorns or Sooners on their 2024 schedule.
Whether they are home or away announced later tonight on @SECNetwork#SECThisMorning
I’m fascinated to see how all of this plays out. Odds are pretty good that everyone won’t leave the night happy with what they got. Remember this too — 2024 will be the first year of the 12-team College Football Playoff system, adding another layer of intrigue to this reveal.
2024 SEC Football Schedule Reveal: How to watch
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Streaming: Watch ESPN/ESPN App
2024 Tennessee Football Non-Conference Schedule
Aug. 31: Chattanooga
Sep. 7: N.C. State (Charlotte)
Sep. 14: Kent State
Nov. 23: UTEP