Tennessee Football-Florida rivalry could fall victim to SEC schedule

MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. — The Florida-Tennessee rivalry grew out of heated competition and Steve Spurrier’s quips.

In the absence of either, will anyone fight to keep the series going yearly?

Doesn’t seem so.

The SEC plans to eliminate the divisions once Oklahoma and Texas join the conference by 2025. This would mean that some SEC teams that play annually in the current conference format would go back to playing biennially in a revised no-division alignment.

The SEC has not yet decided on a future direction or timeline, instead focusing on two formats.

A possibility: Three annual SEC rivals plus six rotating enemies

Other option: A yearly SEC rival plus seven rotating enemies

In the second scenario, Florida and Georgia would likely be named rivals, with Tennessee and Vanderbilt paired.

But even in the first scenario, I’m not convinced that the Florida-Tennessee rivalry is worth continuing annually. And from the sound of it, it would be good for UF and UT to play again every two years.

Other rivalries take precedence for each school.

“Georgia would obviously be one that’s important to us given the game (location) in Jacksonville and the history there. Other than that, I really don’t have a preference,” Gators athletics director Scott Stricklin said Wednesday when I asked him which SEC rivalries UF would most like to continue yearly.

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