Most college sports fans know that the Southeastern Conference (like many conferences across college athletics) is going through conference realignment. Specifically for the SEC, Texas and Oklahoma are joining the league, and divisions are going away as the league becomes a 16-team conference. South Carolina baseball fans just found out on Thursday how the additions of OU and UT will affect the SEC baseball schedule moving forward.
On Thursday, the SEC followed up on a previous announcement by revealing that each team in the league will play against two “permanent opponents” each season with 8 more series against the other teams in the league on a rotating basis.
South Carolina baseball fans still will play 30 games against 10 teams each year as their regular season SEC baseball schedule, but now the Gamecocks know that six of those games each year will be played against the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators. These “permanent opponents” will be on the SEC baseball schedule every season while USC rotates the other 13 teams for the remaining 8 series (24 games).
Within this format, several old SEC rivalries will go unplayed some seasons. However, the conference did the best that it could to preserve the biggest rivalries in the league. Some of the notable games that will be played only on a rotational basis moving forward include South Carolina-Georgia, Arkansas-Texas A&M, Florida-LSU, and Kentucky-Tennessee.
The rotating portion of the schedule only applies for the regular season as all teams will be eligible to play against each other in the SEC Tournament, NCAA Regionals, NCAA Super Regionals, and College World Series pending seeding.
The new schedule will take place beginning in 2025 as Texas and Oklahoma will join the league in the fall of 2024, beginning with football season. The 2024 SEC baseball schedule has already been released. You can South Carolina baseball’s schedule here.
The entire list of the SEC’s new permanent opponent assignments are listed below:
Alabama Crimson Tide: Auburn Tigers, Tennessee Volunteers
Arkansas Razorbacks: Ole Miss Rebels, Missouri Tigers
Auburn Tigers: Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs
Florida Gators: Georgia Bulldogs, South Carolina Gamecocks
Georgia Bulldogs: Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers
Kentucky Wildcats: South Carolina Gamecocks, Vanderbilt Commodores
LSU Tigers: Mississippi State Bulldogs, Texas A&M Aggies
Ole Miss Rebels: Mississippi State Bulldogs, Arkansas Razorbacks
Mississippi State Bulldogs: Ole Miss Rebels, LSU Tigers
Missouri Tigers: Oklahoma Sooners, Arkansas Razorbacks
Oklahoma Sooners: Missouri Tigers, Texas Longhorns
South Carolina Gamecocks: Kentucky Wildcats, Florida Gators
Tennessee Volunteers: Vanderbilt Commodores, Alabama Crimson Tide
Texas Longhorns: Texas A&M Aggies, Oklahoma Sooners
Texas A&M Aggies: Texas Longhorns, LSU Tigers
Vanderbilt Commodores: Tennessee Volunteers, Kentucky Wildcats