Unlike this season, conference play will not begin in Week 1 - the much-hyped debut of the SEC Network had a lot to do with that - which means the opening week slate includes non-conference games with North Carolina (vs. South Carolina in Charlotte), Louisville (vs. Auburn in Atlanta), Wisconsin (vs. Alabama in Dallas) and Arizona State (vs. Texas A&M in Houston).
SEC play kicks off Sept. 12 with Georgia at Vanderbilt, Kentucky at South Carolina and LSU at Mississippi State.
We're not going to break down the nitty-gritty of the schedule, and we're certainly not going to get in to rating the relative difficulty of each schedule considering we're just now figuring out who's good in 2014, but here is the listing of rotating divisional crossover games:
- Alabama at Georgia (Oct. 3)
- Arkansas at Tennessee (Oct. 3)
- Ole Miss at Florida (Oct. 3)
- LSU at South Carolina (Oct. 10)
- Auburn at Kentucky (Oct. 15)
- Mississippi State at Missouri (Nov. 5)
- Texas A&M at Vanderbilt (Nov. 21)
With the SEC's continued insistence on playing eight league games via a 6-1-1 format, the one rotating crossover game now feels like a fifth non-conference game.
Halloween falls on a Saturday in 2015, giving the conference a perfect opportunity to relive the classic 1959 game where No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 7-3, also played on Halloween, and perhaps the conference's most iconic moment of the decade.
Alas, Ole Miss visits Auburn on Halloween, while LSU is off.
If you're looking for Saturdays to go ahead and cancel social plans, allow me to suggest Sept. 19 (Ole Miss at Alabama, Texas Tech at Arkansas, Auburn at LSU, Florida at Kentucky, South Carolina at Georgia), Oct. 3 (Alabama at Georgia, Arkansas at Tennessee, Ole Miss at Florida, Mississippi State at Texas A&M, South Carolina at Missouri) or Nov. 7 (LSU at Alabama, Arkansas at Ole Miss, Kentucky at Georgia, South Carolina at Tennessee), with rivalry Saturday on Nov. 28 as a given.
The 24th SEC Championship will be played Dec. 5, inside Atlanta's Georgia Dome for the 23rd consecutive season.