The Auburn football program, like the rest of the SEC, found out its fate in 2024 when the conference does away with divisions with the conference’s June 14 schedule release. As it turns out, many key rivalries like LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will be off the schedule; in their place Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Oklahoma. That’ll change in 2025 when Alabama and (potentially) Georgia are the only teams from the season before on the conference slate.
Regardless, what AU has been through since the formation of the current SEC West in 2012 has been nothing short of a wood-chipper — one Auburn Rivals’ Brian Stultz doesn’t think Big Ten powerhouses Michigan or Ohio State would be keen to face on a regular basis.
“Looking at all of the changes to the scheduling format, Auburn has already come out as a winner,” Stultz prefaced before saying, “The Tigers have regularly faced the most challenging schedule not only in the SEC but in college football. Playing in the SEC West with Georgia as a permanent opponent meant a grind of a season, something that the likes of Ohio State and Michigan would look at and throw the idea into the trash instantly.”
Auburn football could get another helpful scheduling change in the future
As Stultz would later suggest, Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze and Auburn University Athletic Director John Cohen could fix the scheduling issue of facing Alabama and Georgia on the road the same season every other year.
“Running through a packed schedule was always on the mind of Auburn coaches, players and, of course, fans,” Stultz wrote. “Playing Georgia and Alabama in the same year? Of course, that is difficult. Playing them both on the road in the same season? Yeah, that’s no fun. And while that problem hasn’t been fixed by the SEC as of yet – and it should be an issue that Hugh Freeze, John Cohen and the rest of Auburn’s administration should challenge – there’s hope that one day, it will go back to how it was before the last expansion.”
Evidently, the current AU administration is doing everything possible to sway the competitive balance in their favor. That’s a major win as the sport continues to undergo a continuous facelift to adapt to the changing climate of collegiate sports.