Ahead of its 2024 expansion with the addition of new members Texas and Oklahoma, the Southeastern Conference released each team’s conference foes on Wednesday night to show a preview into what life in the new SEC will be like — including the lack of divisions.
Although kickoff times and other specifics are still unknown, South Carolina will face LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Missouri at home, while the Gamecocks travel to take on Kentucky, Alabama, Vanderbilt, and Oklahoma.
My rapid reaction? Man, this is weird. The Gamecocks lose two of their primary conference rivals in Georgia and Tennessee, and Florida is nowhere to be found either. In fact, since joining the SEC themselves in 1992, South Carolina has never not played those teams.
The Gamecocks also failed to escape their largely ill-fated (and much-derided) connection with Texas A&M, and picking up heavyweights like LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma makes for some tough sledding, to put it mildly — especially since two of those three are away from home.
As for out-of-conference opponents in 2024, the Gamecocks are scheduled to take on Old Dominion, Akron, Wofford — and, of course, Clemson. That (mostly) soft OOC slate could help take the sting out of a challenging SEC draw, but moreso than any perceived difficulty, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around a season without playing the three biggest teams in the East. My current hope and assumption is that this is a stop-gap schedule until the SEC gets a better grasp on its new expanded format, votes to approve a nine-game schedule, and so on and so forth.
What do y’all think? Are you excited to see Oklahoma immediately in the mix, bummed about losing key historical opponents, all of the above...?