The ten matchups that will make up the third annual Big 12/SEC Challenge have been moved from the early part of the schedule to a Saturday in late January to maximize exposure for the event.
The two previous editions of the Big 12/SEC Challenge took place in late November and early December, when many of those school’s fans are closely following the conclusion of the college football season. Next season’s event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30, and both conferences have pledged to create a common open date in “late January or early February” to keep this event a fixture on the college basketball calendar moving forward.
“We are excited to move this event to January to provide the Big 12 a unique showcase and help ESPN give the Big 12/SEC Challenge the attention it deserves,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in an official release. “Our teams have shown a commitment to scheduling tough non-conference opponents and should be commended for setting a new standard by placing a key non-league matchup in the middle of the conference season.”
Having all 10 games on one Saturday in late January, right in the middle of the conference schedule, will help the Big 12 and the SEC break out of college football’s shadow and differentiate their event from the pre-existing ACC-Big Ten challenge. If the challenge were taking place this weekend, for example, we would be much more excited having seen these teams in action for nearly two dozen games.
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