The SEC has officially decreed today that:
* The SEC’s new 1-4-8 basketball scheduling format will be in effect for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
* Over the three-year span, each school will play its permanent rival six times and the league’s other teams four times each.
* The official men’s basketball schedule for 2012-13 will be announced in August.
* The tournament — as announced last week — will feature all 14 teams.
During last week’s SEC Meetings, Mike Slive said that the league’s 6-1-1 football scheduling format would be in place for at least “three or four” years, which seems to match up with the hoops plan.
This could mean a couple of different things. First, it could mean that the SEC is well aware of possible shifts in the college sports landscape that could lead to further expansion and render these schedules moot anyway. Second, it could mean that these plans caused so much debate that no one feels perfectly secure in them. Or third, it could suggest that the league wants to keep its options open depending on its ongoing television negotiaions and the possible need for better inventory.
One thing we do know is that the current hoops format will keep a return to a two-division set-up off the docket for at least three more years.