Razorback scheduling - Printable Version

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- calling_the_hogs - 07-09-2002 09:18 AM

@ Texas, Florida in 03
Texas, @ Florida, Georgia in 04
We're definitely toughening this sucker up.

From Razorback Central
<a href="http://www.razorbackcentral.com" target="_blank">www.razorbackcentral.com</a>

SEC Shuffle Makes For Interesting FB Games
Tuesday, July 9, 2002
Column By Harry King

Arkansas News Bureau/RazorbackCentral

Based on recent history, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi benefited the most when the Southeastern Conference changed the scheduling procedure for football.

The Razorbacks dumped Tennessee as a permanent opponent. Auburn got rid of Florida and Mississippi shed Georgia.

Since Arkansas and South Carolina started playing SEC football in 1992, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia have been the best of the Eastern Division.

Florida is 69-11 in the SEC during those years while Tennessee is 64-16. Between them, they have played in every league championship game since 1992. During those 10 years, Georgia had a 44-35-1 record - the only other Eastern Division team with a winning record.

When the Razorbacks and the Gamecocks began league play, the SEC decided that a team would play the five teams in its division, two permanent opponents from the other division and one opponent that would rotate off the schedule every two years.

For Arkansas, the permanent opponents were South Carolina and Tennessee.

Beginning this fall, a team will continue to play the other five teams in its division, but will have only one permanent opponent and two rotating opponents from the other division.

After this year, the Razorbacks will not face Tennessee again during the regular season until 2006. Next year, Florida begins a two-year run on the Arkansas schedule with a game in Fayetteville. The next year, the Razorbacks are at Florida and Georgia comes to Fayetteville. In 2005, Vanderbilt replaces Florida on the schedule. Tennessee returns in 2006 and Kentucky is back the following year.

Although South Carolina has put together two straight 5-3 league records under Lou Holtz, the Gamecocks are only 29-50-1 during 10 years in the league. As long as Holtz is around, the Gamecocks should offer some barometer on Arkansas.

Auburn keeps Georgia, which is no bargain, but the Tigers have to be better off without facing Florida every year. Dumping Georgia is bound to help Mississippi, but more importantly the Rebels' permanent opponent from the Eastern Division is Vanderbilt. The Commodores have won 11 league games in 10 years, including a 1-23 record the past three years.

For sure, the league will be more difficult for Alabama and LSU. The Crimson Tide no longer has a gimme against Vanderbilt every year and the permanent opponent is Tennessee. Kentucky, 22-58 during the past 10 years, is no longer on LSU's schedule every year. But, the Tigers keep Florida.

Certainly, Mississippi State's schedule will be tougher. The Bulldogs' permanent opponents were South Carolina and Kentucky. The Bulldogs keep Kentucky, but will have to play Florida, Tennessee and Georgia more often.

Roy Tu, who has retired as SEC commissioner, said the new schedule provides some flexibility. In return, some schools had to give up traditional games.

In the Eastern Division, only Alabama (47-33) and Auburn (45-35) are above .500 for the 10 years. Tennessee keeps Alabama as a permanent opponent and Georgia will always play Auburn.

Also in the Eastern Division, South Carolina keeps Arkansas (36-42-2) and drops Mississippi State, Florida keeps LSU (36-43-1) and drops Auburn, Kentucky keeps Mississippi State (38-41-1) and drops LSU and Vanderbilt keeps Mississippi (35-45) and drops Alabama.