Since it was announced that the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns would be joining the SEC in 2025, there has been a lot of talk about how the SEC will adjust its scheduling model.
During the annual SEC meetings in June, the head coaches and athletic directors from all 14 schools met to discuss numerous topics, including the schedule format. Through the talks, two formats emerged: 3 permanent opponents + 6 rotating opponents and 1 permanent opponent + 7 rotating opponents.
After a week of discussions, there was an even split, with Kentucky being one of the schools against a 9-game SEC schedule.
As of now, Mark Stoops and Co have yet to back off that stance, but according to Chris Low of ESPN, the 9-game scheduling format is gaining traction within the conference due to increased revenue and more rivalry games.
Hearing from more ADs and coaches in the SEC that they’d prefer to go to nine league games and play a 3-6 format when OU and Texas join. They’re certainly onboard at @AggieFootball. AD Ross Bjork told me the added revenue and being able to play more rivals make it a no-brainer.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) August 20, 2022
What would this mean for the Kentucky Wildcats? Each season, they would be given three permanent opponents while playing the other 12 schools in an off-year rotation, where they would alternate six schools every other season.
Through the Mark Stoops era, each schedule has consisted of the following template: 8 SEC games, 2 Group of Five games, 1 FCS game, and the Governor’s Cup (Louisville). The biggest reason for this is that it gives Kentucky ample opportunity to become bowl eligible, which allows Stoops to continue to build the program.
With that said, the new scheduling format would undoubtedly make the schedule more difficult and could even jeopardize the Governor’s Cup, depending on how willing Stoops is to keep it on the schedule.
Money drives college athletics, and at this point, it seems that Kentucky will soon be playing nine SEC games every year. Who would you like the three permanent opponents to be?