Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi State will come to Colonial Life Arena once every year to play South Carolina men’s basketball team under a scheduling change announced Thursday by the SEC.
SEC teams will continue to play 18 games but now will have three “permanent” opponents. The new format means each league team will play the other 13 teams at least once each year, their three permanent opponents a second time and will fill the other two conference game slots on a rotating basis.
“You can see a pretty good blend of traditional rivals and then an opportunity to, maybe, create new rivalries there,” SEC associate commissioner Mark Whitworth said.
Football rules changes Non-standard, overbuilt facemasks no longer will be allowed in NCAA football, SEC director of officiating Steve Shaw said. The SEC also plans to add an eighth official (a center judge) to each crew. The league experimented with a center judge on one of its nine crews last year. College football also will create a competition committee starting in 2016.
Big Man’s Friend Arkansas coach Bret Bielema probably runs the most lineman-friendly program in the country, and he credits his formative years on a farm for that.
“When you build things, whether it’s a fence or a building, you start with a foundation,” Bielema said. “In football terms, it’s the same thing. O-line and D-line play have to be the strongest thing on your team to build around them.”
When the Razorbacks fly line recruits to Fayetteville, they fly them first class.
“We treat them like royalty,” Bielema said.
When captains are picked for practice and workout competitions, it’s linemen.
“I am not going to put the pretty boys in charge,” he said. “I am going to let (linemen) be the guys who speak for the team. Being a big person myself, I have often noted when you come in a room when big people talk, little people listen.”
Tour de Golson Florida coach Jim McElwain said his school never applied for an SEC waiver that would have allowed Everrett Golson to join the Gators, because their recruitment of Golson never got that far.
“He came down and checked us out. What a great person,” McElwain said. “I wish him the best. He’s a quality person. I don’t want to play against him, but we’re going to.”
Golson, a Myrtle Beach native, landed at Florida State after transferring from Notre Dame.
High ceiling, high dollars Like South Carolina and Florida, Georgia is in the midst of building an indoor practice facility. The difference is the Bulldogs’ will cost upwards of $30 million, while the Gamecocks and Gators are spending about half that. Richt thinks the extra money will be worth it, he said.
“I think it will be the best in America,” he said. “We’ve seen a few around the country and see what people would do differently if they had to do it again and ours is going to be right there next to our weight room, right in the heart of our stamp of football athletics. So it’s going to be a beautiful thing. We’re excited about it.”
Alabama: Auburn / Mississippi State / LSU
Arkansas: Missouri / Texas A&M / LSU
Auburn: Alabama / Ole Miss / Georgia
Florida: Kentucky / Georgia / Vanderbilt
Georgia: South Carolina / Florida / Auburn
Kentucky: Florida / Tennessee / Vanderbilt
LSU: Texas A&M / Alabama / Arkansas
Ole Miss: Mississippi State / Auburn / Missouri
Mississippi State: Ole Miss / Alabama / South Carolina
Missouri: Arkansas / Texas A&M / Ole Miss
South Carolina: Georgia / Tennessee / Mississippi State
Tennessee: Vanderbilt / Kentucky / South Carolina
Texas A&M: LSU / Arkansas / Missouri
Vanderbilt: Tennessee / Kentucky / Florida