One at a time, nine-game conference schedules are hacking through quality non-conference games like a machete through wild brush.
Not that Ole Miss could currently be considered a quality non-conference opponent – I’ll default to Steve Spurrier on that one — but perhaps by, say, 2015 and ’16.
That’s when Clemson was supposed to play the Rebels in a home-and-home series, but that contract has been “mutually terminated” per a release (the Tigers also cancelled a series with Oklahoma State).
Instead, Ole Miss now has a four-game series with Memphis beginning in 2014. Ole Miss will host the Tigers in 2014 and 2016, and Memphis will have home games in the odd years. Obviously, Ole Miss is looking for W’s, which have been hard to come by lately, and adding the Tigers is about the surest way to get one.
The ACC is moving to a nine-game conference slate with the additions of Pitt and Syracuse; the SEC could still possibly do the same. As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, adding another conference game means fewer schools actually want to schedule tough out of conference.