MIRAMAR BEACH, FL – Auburn soccer coach Brian Harsin hasn’t decided which SEC schedule model to support. He says it is not that simple.
“I have no preference now,” he said after two days of coaches’ meetings.
With Oklahoma and Texas joining in 2025, the league must adjust its schedule format to count 16 teams. In the current division system, teams play the same seven opponents each season plus one opponent across divisions. A number of SEC programs only see each other once every six years.
Eight and nine game options are being considered for the new chassis. Harsin said he had not decided whether eight or nine conference games would be better for Auburn.
Of course, the Tigers already always have one of the toughest dates in college football, with Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A&M and LSU games every year.
“Our schedule is very good,” Harsin said with a laugh. “he is strong.”
A nine-game format is being considered that includes each team retaining three “competing” competitors each season, while the other six rotate. Harsin said he also has no preference for the three teams that should be a constant for Auburn, if that model is used.
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“It was more than just getting to know what went into these models,” Harsin said. “There’s a lot of information out there that they did it way over our heads as far as just fairness is concerned, and there’s a lot of other factors that go into that. But right now, I don’t have and don’t think anyone has necessarily made a final decision on what this is. Form. Now that you’ve heard it, you want to tackle it.”
A major factor Harsin is considering is what the game’s nine-game structure might mean for having a Power Five non-conference opponent each year.
“Exciting opponents will be very competitive,” he said. “People will enjoy these games, and your players too.”
He noted the value of hiring when the team ventures out of the SEC area often. For example, Auburn played at Penn State last season at home and house.
“This is a motivator for the players,” Harsin said. “It also helps in recruiting your players who want to join in. Like, ‘We have to play with these guys.’ And it might be someone from their home country.”