The SEC released its 2014 conference football schedule on Wednesday, which opens with a presumably Johnny Manziel-less Texas A&M vs. South Carolina who won’t have Jadeveon Clowney on Thursday, Aug. 28. This A&M-South Carolina game will also be the first game ever aired on the new ESPN-owned SEC Network, which launches in fall 2014.
Paul Finebaum will carry the network for four hours a day, starting when the network launches on Aug. 21, but live football games will be where the network really makes its mark on the cable sports network landscape. And a game like their opener is a better game than any Big Ten or Pac-12 Network game.
The SEC is still trying to figure out how to maintain competitive balance while also maintaining its traditional matchups: Alabama-Tennessee, Georgia-Florida, Auburn-Georgia. According to an SEC press release, “the 2014 schedule is based on a 12-year rotation of conference opponents, which includes six divisional contests for each team, along with games against one permanent non-divisional opponent and one rotating non-divisional opponent.”