The 2023 SEC spring meetings will hold major weight behind them according to AL.com’s Michael Casagrande — who sees the issue of whether or not the conference will go with eight or nine-game conference schedules as the make-or-break issue at the annual gathering of the Southeastern Conference’s power players in Destin, Florida.
“No doubt issues like NIL and transfer portals will consume a share of the Destin oxygen but with rivalries in the balance, the matter of eight or nine should be the talk of the SEC assembly next week by the gulf,” Casagrande wrote.
With Oklahoma and Texas inbound to the SEC, what gets decided on during the 2023 meetings can have a drastic impact on the strength of schedules some schools in the conference’s lesser division (SEC East) see each season should the divisions dissolve entirely.
Auburn among several unsung winners of SEC spring meetings focus
With the SEC spring meetings being consumed by whether the in-conference schedule will expand, thereby increasing revenue but also making every team’s schedule more difficult, Auburn, Ole Miss, and several other SEC schools that have used the transfer portal frequently in recent years stand to benefit from the lack of regulation in that aspect. Tied into that is the lack of a focus on NIL regulation, which at minimum, played a big hand in Payton Thorne’s Plains arrival.
While the schedule increasing in difficulty is something many schools in the conference should fear, that isn’t something Auburn will suffer from. Over the years, the Tigers have played the likes of Oregon, Penn State, and Clemson in non-conference play. Having to play Kentucky, Vanderbilt, or Missouri more isn’t exactly a frightening proposition.
All in all, things could continue to look good for AU in recruiting and future schedule strength as the SEC’s power brokers take to the Sunshine State’s Panhandle to settle several pressing issues — but must deal with one that could take up all the attention — next week.