Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
SEC keeping 8-game schedule
FILE - In this July 21, 2010, file photo, Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive talks at a news conference during the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill, File)
FAYETTEVILLE The Southeastern Conference will keep its 8-game conference schedule for football.
League and school administrators agreed to the scheduling format during a meeting Sunday. SEC officials had considered a 9-game league schedule for football.
Each school's SEC schedule will include six games against teams from their own division and two out of division games, including one each year against a permanent cross-division opponent. The permanent cross-division games will be: Arkansas-Missouri, Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, LSU-Florida, Ole Miss-Vanderbilt, Mississippi State-Kentucky and Texas A&M-South Carolina.
As part of the agreement, SEC teams will be required to play a nonconference game against a team from either the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12 each year beginning in 2016.
Arkansas has future nonconference games scheduled against TCU of the Big 12 in 2016 and 2017, Michigan of the Big Ten in 2018 and 2019, and Texas of the Big 12 in 2021. The Razorbacks will begin a two-year series against the Big 12's Texas Tech this season.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive attributed the decision to keep the 8-game schedule to balance, giving all schools four home and four away conference games each season.