The Missouri Tigers will begin their first season as a member of the Southeastern Conference by hosting the defending SEC Eastern Division Champion Georgia Bulldogs, according to a report from Eric Blumber of KOMU NBC TV. Blumberg also states that the league will release a full schedule next week.
PowerMizzou.com had previously reported that the Tigers' inaugural SEC schedule would include Georgia, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt at home, and Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina on the road. Multiple outlets have reported and/or assumed that fellow newcomer Texas A&M will be Missouri's permanent cross-division opponent.
The most uncertainty over the 2012 schedule centers around cross-division opponents. With the addition of Missouri to the SEC East and Texas A&M to the SEC West, permanent cross-division rivalries will be kept (the Aggies and Tigers will play each other every year). What's yet to be determined is the number and frequency of total opponents. It's expected the league will either modify its eight-game schedule or adopt a new, nine-game schedule:
- If the SEC decides to play an eight game conference schedule, each team would play its six division opponents, plus one permanent opponent, plus one rotating cross-division opponent. Compared to the current format, this system adds a division opponent and subtracts a rotating cross-division opponent.
- If the SEC decides to play a nine game conference schedule, each team would play its six division opponents, plus one permanent opponent, plus two rotating cross-division opponents. Compared to the current format, this system simply adds a division game to account for the two new members, but would restrict teams to three out-of-conference opponents instead of four.
The SEC is expected to keep its permanent cross-division rivalries, which are as follows (East teams are listed first, then West):
- Georgia vs. Auburn
- Florida vs. LSU
- Tennessee vs. Alabama
- Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss
- Kentucky vs. Mississippi State
- South Carolina vs. Arkansas
- Missouri vs. Texas A&M (projected)