SEC Roommate Switch – 8 game schedule


The Roommate Switch versions are all consolidated on one main page now.  Please go to:


The SEC appears set to adopt a 6-1-1 schedule format for football.  This would be a rare, big misstep by the leaders of the nation’s best conference.   Under 6-1-1, many of your best potential matchups are benched for 5 of 6 years.  You only host some of your conference mates once every 12 years (that’s barely a conference!).  Some schools get frequent exposure in recruit-rich major media markets Texas and Florida, while others only once every 12 years.  And a 6-2 format would snuff out some of the SEC’s bedrock traditional rivalries.  There’s got to be a better way…

I’VE GOT IT !!!! 

SEC fans, what would you say about a format that has all the following features:

  • Preserves the SEC’s major historic rivalries.
  • Play everyone at least once every TWO years (instead of every six years per 6-1-1).
  • Host every SEC school at least once every FOUR years (instead of every twelve years per 6-1-1).  This gives every student/recruiting class a chance to complete a home-and-home with every conference school during their enrollment.  That is important for players, students and fans.
  • Offers more compelling match-ups for TV and fans, with games involving two marquee brands more often.
  • Round-robin division play is maintained for SEC championship game purposes.
  • Works with an 8 game schedule (or 9 games if/when needed).
  • Fosters more conference cohesion, familiarity and history between the schools and fans across time.
  • Strength of schedule is reasonably balanced (at least as well as 6-1-1).
  • The SEC would continue its tradition of pioneering new avenues of competition and excitement for fans and viewers.

THAT would be a far superior plan to 6-1-1 (or 6-2).  So without further ado, I present…

The SEC Roommate Switch

This will seem complicated at first but it’s not, read all the way to the end for the payoff. The bottom line:  Everyone has 3 permanents and rotates the other 10 teams at 5 per year, with two round-robin divisions each year accomplished via a simple, recurring Even-Years Schedule and Odd-Years Schedule.  How is this done?

  • 1.  The Pods.
  • 2.  The Divisions.
  • 3.  The Formula.
  • 4.  The Football Schedules.

Note – it’s not really necessary for fans to memorize steps 1, 2 or 3.  Most will just want to know their school’s schedule each year (they can skip to step 4).  But for the rest of us who are interested in what’s under the hood:

Step 1.  The Pods

The conference is grouped into four pods.  I think the groupings below work best overall once you see how the schedules are made, but that’s up for debate.  The balance-of-power within each pod is not critical because that is balanced out in the schedule/pod pairings (it’s the divisions that ultimately matter, not the pods):


Step 2.  Divisions… and The Switch. 

The pods are paired up to make two 7 team divisions (which I’m calling the X’s and O’s for even years, and the Y’s and Z’s for odd years).

  • In Even-numbered years the divisions are A+C and B+D.
  • In Odd-numbered years the divisions are A+D and B+C.

These divisions are the basis for the SEC Championship Game each year.  The schedules (step 4) have full round-robin play within each division each year.

Step 3.  The Schedule Formula.

Everyone has 3 permanent opponents, and rotates through the other 10 teams at 5 per year.  It looks complicated at first, but it really boils down to a simple recurring Even-Years schedule and an Odd-Years schedule:

    • Permanent opponents:
      • Both of your podmates. (2 games)
      • One permanent from the other Small Pod.  (1 game)
    • Rotating opponents:
      • Non-permanents from the other small pod. (1 game)
      • All of the teams from one of the large pods (alternating which large pod in even/odd years).  (4 games)
    • Permanent opponents:
      • All three of your podmates. (3 games)

      Rotating opponents:

      • All the teams from one of the small pods (alternating which small pod in even/odd years). (3 games)
      • Half the teams from the other large pod. (2 games)

4.  The Football Schedules.

Now feel free to forget all the above if you want.  What’s important is below – the resulting football schedule for each school, for Even and Odd years:  (Permanent opponents are in plain type, rotating opponents are in italics).  There is full round-robin play within the divisions each year.

“The perfect plan.”

Under this format 14 is not “unruly”, it’s awesome.

Come on SEC, it’s not to late to hit another home run!


UPDATE:  Here is the Roommate Switch applied to a 9-game conference schedule.



10 responses to “SEC Roommate Switch – 8 game schedule

  1. Well, this is really hard to mentally unpack, but once you wrap your mind around it it does make a lot of sense. This also seems to be a fairly straightforward to a 16-team setup with 4 pods if that eventually came about. The only thing that I would rather see is A&M in a pod with LSU, Arkansas, and Mizzou, which I think are the teams we have the most natural rivalry with inside the SEC.

    Interesting idea, good work.

  2. BRILLIANT! This would be best case scenario and seems fair for the “haves” and the “have nots” (as another article put it). Lets get the word out!

  3. Genius idea! Simply genius. This would really add a lot of excitement and cohesiveness to the SEC, and would be another example of why the SEC is the best conference. I would love to see this happen!

  4. Pod A data comparisons :

    Florida proposed = Georgia + Auburn + Tennessee from Pod B
    Florida actual “historic” = Georgia 89 + Auburn 83 + Kentucky 62
    Florida next 3 “historic” = LSU 58 + Miss State 54 + Vanderbilt 45
    Florida Pod B “historic” = Alabama 37 + S Carolina 32

    Georgia proposed = Florida + Auburn + S Carolina from Pod B
    Georgia actual “historic” = Auburn 115 + Florida 89 + Vanderbilt 72
    Georgia next 3 “historic” = Kentucky 65 + Alabama 65 + S Carolina 64
    Georgia Pod B “historic” = Alabama 65 + Tennessee 41

    Auburn proposed = Florida + Georgia + Alabama from Pod B
    Auburn actual “historic” = Georgia 115 + Miss State 85 + Florida 83
    Auburn next 3 “historic” = Alabama 76 + Tennessee 51 + LSU 46
    Auburn Pod B “historic” = Tennessee 51 + S Carolina 11

    • Florida travel
      Auburn = 310 miles / 6.0 hours
      Georgia = 350 miles / 6.0 hours
      S Carolina = 360 miles / 6.0 hours

      Alabama = 450 miles / 8.0 hours
      Mississippi State = 535 miles / 9.5 hours
      Tennessee = 545 miles / 9.5 hours

      Vanderbilt = 580 miles / 10.0 hours
      Louisiana State = 585 miles / 9.5 hours
      Mississippi = 620 miles / 11.0 hours

      Kentucky = 710 miles / 11.5 hours
      Texas A&M = 925 miles / 15.5 hours
      Arkansas = 985 miles / 17.0 hours

      Missouri = 1010 miles / 17.5 hours

      Georgia travel
      S Carolina = 165 miles / 3.0 hours
      Auburn = 180 miles / 3.0 hours
      Tennessee = 235 miles / 4.5 hours

      Alabama = 275 miles / 5.0 hours
      Vanderbilt = 305 miles / 5.5 hours
      Florida = 350 miles / 6.0 hours

      Mississippi State = 355 miles / 6.0 hours
      Kentucky = 400 miles / 7.0 hours
      Mississippi = 400 miles / 7.0 hours

      Louisiana State = 590 miles / 10.0 hours
      Missouri = 735 miles / 12.5 hours
      Arkansas = 770 miles / 13.0 hours

      Texas A&M = 895 miles / 15.0 hours

      Auburn travel

      Alabama = 160 miles / 3.0 hours
      Georgia = 180 miles / 3.0 hours
      Mississippi State = 245 miles / 4.5 hours

      Mississippi = 295 miles / 5.5 hours
      Vanderbilt = 300 miles / 5.5 hours
      Florida = 310 miles / 6.0 hours

      Tennessee = 320 miles / 5.5 hours
      S Carolina = 320 miles / 5.5 hours
      Louisiana State = 420 miles / 6.5 hours

      Kentucky = 485 miles / 8.0 hours
      Arkansas = 660 miles / 11.5 hours
      Missouri = 740 miles / 12.5 hours

      Texas A&M = 755 miles / 12.5 hours

  5. George Costanza

    Are you crazy? This is like discovering Plutonium by accident

  6. George Costanza

    “Do you realize in the entire history of western civilization no one has successfully accomplished the roommate switch. In the middle ages you could get locked up for even suggesting it.”

  7. I love this. LSU gets a break in its permant three. Looks like pod A and B have the three permant teams that are traditionally the tuffest. What the hell, look at what this would do for season tickets sells accross the SEC. Finally someone with sense put this together. Vandy, Kentucky and Miss ST would have to play a schedule worthy of play..

  8. The only problem is under the 8 game plan LSU no longer gets to play FLA every year. I think that would be a mistake

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