Bulldogs and Tigers can relax. The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry is safe for now.
Despite some debate among coaches at this week's SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., the league's presidents voted Friday, as expected, to approve a proposed 6-1-1 format for future football schedules in the 14-team SEC.
Various SEC athletics directors confirmed the news Friday to reporters in Destin, Fla. The Athens Banner-Herald cited LSU athletics director Joe Alleva as saying the schedule passed by a vote of 11-3.
The 6-1-1 format means when new conference football schedules begin rolling out for the 2013 season and beyond, each school will play six divisional opponents and two cross-divisional games, one against a rotating opponent each year and one against a permanent opponent, which in Georgia's case will be Auburn.
UGA's contingent at these meetings supported the plan that was eventually approved, as voiced by Mark Richt.
"I'm not going to be the one to say we shouldn't play Auburn every year," Richt said Wednesday. "I think that's a great, traditional rival game and we should continue to play Auburn every year. So my vote would be 6-1-1."
SEC commissioner Mike Slive told reporters in announcing the format that this scheduling approach was not necessarily set in stone and could be revisited on a window of three to four years.
While the format was approved for schedules Friday, rotating opponents have not yet been finalized. Other permanent, annual rivalries will be: Tennessee-Alabama, Florida-LSU, South Carolina-Texas A&M, Missouri-Arkansas, Vanderbilt-Ole Miss and Kentucky-Mississippi State.