4. SEC stays at two divisions, moves to nine games
- Alabama and Auburn move to SEC East
- Missouri moves to SEC West
- Oklahoma and Texas join SEC West
- Teams draw one annual interdivisional opponent
- Tennessee’s draws Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss or Mississippi State
Now this is the dream scenario for Tennessee football if the SEC stays at two divisions. Even if the league moves to nine games, the Vols will get an easier draw than they have even now for the most part, and that’s a huge deal.
As we said, UT drawing the Alabama Crimson Tide from the West every year makes them moving to the East a non-factor. Although they would bring in the Auburn Tigers, that’s canceled out by an easier drawing from the West. The Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Arkansas Razorbacks and Mississippi State Bulldogs will all be lesser foes.
If this happens, UT goes from an annual disadvantage to an annual advantage. Sure, they’ll have to face the Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners and LSU Tigers some years, but drawing one of the other schools annually works in their favor more often than not.
There would be years in which they draw two of those schools. In fact, that would happen three of seven years in this scenario. Add in the Vanderbilt Commodores, South Carolina Gamecocks and Kentucky Wildcats, and you’ve got a path to nine wins at that point.