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College Football Analysis: Breaking Down the 2012 SEC Schedule

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The release of the Southeastern Conference 2012 schedule has been highly anticipated since it was announced that the SEC added a 13th and 14th school to the conference, Texas A & M and Missouri, respectively.

In August, Texas A & M President R. Bowen Loftin sent a letter to (ironically) Missouri Chancellor and Big 12 board chairman Brady Deaton informing the league that were withdrawing from the conference. Texas A & M was a charter member of the Southwest Conference since 1915, then joined the Big 12 when the conference combined the Big 8 and the four Texas schools from the SWC officially in 1994, with athletic competition commencing in 1996. The Big 12 considered themselves a new separate conference, not an expansion of the Big 8, so it does not claim the Big 8’s history as part of their own.

The Aggies move to the SEC wasn’t definite until all remaining Big 12 schools waived their right to sue the conference and university for accepting Texas A & M. Almost immediately, Oklahoma announced they had no plans for litigation, followed by Texas – who seemed to be the driving force for A & M to withdrawal in the first place, then Texas Tech. After the Pac-12 decided not to expand therefore keeping OU in the Big 12, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced that Texas A & M had been unanimously voted in as the 13th member of the Southeastern Conference. The announcement led many to believe Baylor, the reported ringleader of litigation against the two entities, had agreed to waive any legal action.

As of July 1, 2012 the SEC was set to be comprised of 13 teams and the question arose as to whether or not the SEC would welcome in a 14th school to its athletic conference. Shortly after the addition of A & M was announced, the SEC and ACC both allegedly rejected West Virginia’s application into the conferences and rumors began circulating that the Missouri Tigers would be invited to the SEC instead. In a released statement in November, the SEC announced that Missouri would indeed become the 14th member, followed by a pep rally in Columbus where Slive welcomed Missouri replete with a new SEC banner, confetti, and Marching Mizzou playing in front of Missouri Nation. A little over a week later, head coach Gary Pinkel was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, which he later plead guilty to and will serve two years probation.

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A Big 8 member since 1907, Missouri wasn’t invited to one of the Big 12’s affiliated bowl games in its final season in the conference, but did get the chance to play and defeat North Carolina 41-24 in this year’s AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in Louisiana, a few hours from this year’s crowning jewel of the SEC, LSU, and closer to Texas where 35 of the team’s players hail from. Texas A & M will take on Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

Wednesday morning, the conference schedules was announced, with the two newcomers opening their SEC campaigns at home as Missouri will host Georgia and Florida travels to Kyle Field to take on Texas A & M on September 8th.

(Home games in all caps)

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Sept. 15: at Arkansas
Sept. 29: OLE MISS
Oct. 13: at Missouri
Oct. 20: at Tennessee
Oct. 27: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Nov. 3: at LSU
Nov. 10: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 24: AUBURN

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Sept. 15: ALABAMA
Sept. 29: vs. Texas A&M
Oct. 6: at Auburn
Oct. 13: KENTUCKY
Oct. 27: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at South Carolina
Nov. 17: at Mississippi State
Nov. 24: LSU

AUBURN TIGERS
Sept. 8: at Mississippi State
Sept. 22: LSU
Oct. 6: ARKANSAS
Oct. 13: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 27: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: GEORGIA
Nov. 24: at Alabama

FLORIDA GATORS
Sept. 8: at Texas A&M
Sept. 15: at Tennessee
Sept. 22: KENTUCKY
Oct. 6: LSU
Oct. 13: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 20: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 27: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: MISSOURI

GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Sept. 8: at Missouri
Sept. 22: VANDERBILT
Sept. 29: TENNESSEE
Oct. 6: at South Carolina
Oct. 20: at Kentucky
Oct. 27: vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at Auburn

KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Sept. 22: at Florida
Sept. 29: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 6: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Oct. 13: at Arkansas
Oct. 20: GEORGIA
Oct. 27: at Missouri
Nov. 3: VANDERBILT
Nov. 24: at Tennessee

LSU TIGERS
Sept. 22: at Auburn
Oct. 6: at Florida
Oct. 13: SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 20: at Texas A&M
Nov. 3: ALABAMA
Nov. 10: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Nov. 17: OLE MISS
Nov. 24: at Arkansas

OLE MISS REBELS
Sept. 29: at Alabama
Oct. 6: TEXAS A&M
Oct. 13: AUBURN
Oct. 27: at Arkansas
Nov. 3: at Georgia
Nov. 10: VANDERBILT
Nov. 17: at LSU
Nov. 24: MISSISSIPPI STATE

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS
Sept. 8: AUBURN
Oct. 6: at Kentucky
Oct. 13: TENNESSEE
Oct. 27: at Alabama
Nov. 3: TEXAS A&M
Nov. 10: at LSU
Nov. 17: ARKANSAS
Nov. 24: at Ole Miss

MISSOURI TIGERS
Sept. 8: GEORGIA
Sept. 22: at South Carolina
Oct. 6: VANDERBILT
Oct. 13: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: KENTUCKY
Nov. 3: at Florida
Nov. 10: at Tennessee
Nov. 24: at Texas A&M

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS
Aug. 30: at Vanderbilt
Sept. 22: MISSOURI
Sept. 29: at Kentucky
Oct. 6: GEORGIA
Oct. 13: at LSU
Oct. 20: at Florida
Oct. 27: TENNESSEE
Nov. 10: ARKANSAS

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Sept. 15: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: at Georgia
Oct. 13: at Mississippi State
Oct. 20: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: at South Carolina
Nov. 10: MISSOURI
Nov. 17: at Vanderbilt
Nov. 24: KENTUCKY

TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Sept. 8: FLORIDA
Sept. 29: vs. Arkansas
Oct. 6: at Ole Miss
Oct. 20: LSU
Oct. 27: at Auburn
Nov. 3: at Mississippi State
Nov. 10: at Alabama
Nov. 24: MISSOURI

VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Aug. 30: SOUTH CAROLINA
Sept. 22: at Georgia
Oct. 6: at Missouri
Oct. 13: FLORIDA
Oct. 20: AUBURN
Nov. 3: at Kentucky
Nov. 10: at Ole Miss
Nov. 17: TENNESSEE

Dory LeBlanc, covers Gator sports for Gators First and BourbonMeyer.com. Not just a college sports enthusiast, Dory is also a fan of NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. Born outside Philly, she moved to Tampa, and now resides in Illinois, giving her a broad perspective on the sporting world. You can follow Dory on twitter @DoryLeBlanc