Commissioner Mike Slive announced on Sunday that the SEC will maintain its current eight-game football schedule through 2016 and beyond.
While keeping a 6-1-1 format (six division games, one permanent cross-divisional game and one rotating divisional game) each team will also have to add one opponent from the four power conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12) beginning in 2016. Scheduling Notre Dame would also fulfill that requirement.
Slive had this to say:
"This has been a thoughtful and deliberative process that has resulted in maintaining the current format and adds a provision that will bolster our collective annual non-conference schedule," said Commissioner Mike Slive. “Critical to maintaining this format is the non-conference opponent factor which gives us the added strength-of-schedule we were seeking while allowing continued scheduling flexibility for institutional preferences, and acknowledges that many of our institutions already play these opponents.
“The concept of strength-of-schedule is based on an entire 12-game schedule, a combination of both conference games together with non-conference games. Given the strength of our conference schedule supplemented by at least one major non-conference game, our teams will boast of a strong resume’ of opponents each and every year.”
Here is a list of the permanent non-division opponents:
• Alabama (west) vs. Tennessee (east)
• Arkansas (west) vs. Missouri (east)
• Auburn (west) vs. Georgia (east)
• LSU (west) vs. Florida (east)
• Ole Miss (west) vs. Vanderbilt (east)
• Mississippi State (west) vs. Kentucky (east)
• Texas A&M (west) vs. South Carolina (east)