Old SEC rivalries in doubt

Old SEC rivalries in doubt

February 9th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - College

The Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia football rivalries may have to survive another round of discussions.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told reporters attending an athletic board meeting Wednesday in Athens that Southeastern Conference ADs will talk later this month about future scheduling. The SEC announced in late December its 2012 schedule, which contains new members Missouri and Texas A&M, and it will be implemented only for this year.

This year's SEC schedule calls for eight league games in which a team will play six division foes, one permanent foe from the opposite division and a rotating foe from the opposite division. Future schedules could remain that way, contain eight games with two rotating foes from the other division, or expand to nine league games, which would include a permanent foe from the other division.

McGarity said the Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia games want to be retained by the ADs at those schools should the SEC stay with eight league games. He isn't sure if the other 10 ADs feel as strongly about keeping their permanent cross-division opponent.

Auburn and Georgia play in the Deep South's oldest rivalry, which Auburn leads 54-53-8, while Alabama and Tennessee rank 1-2 historically in terms of SEC championships. The Crimson Tide have won 22 titles and the Volunteers 13.