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SEC Announces Permanent Baseball Opponents, Tennessee Draws In-State Rival

Tennessee Vanderbilt
KNOXVILLE, TN – April 21, 2023 – Infielder Blake Burke #25 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tennessee Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Ian Cox/Tennessee Athletics.

While much of the SEC scheduling conversation this fall has been around the sport of football, a landmark announcement was made on Thursday regarding the SEC baseball schedule moving forward.

Texas and Oklahoma will enter the conference before the 2024-2025 academic year starts and will officially be in the Southeastern Conference schedule rotation across all sports.

SEC baseball will move to a single-division format in 2025 as “each team will play 10 three-game series, two against permanent opponents and eight versus rotating opponents for a total of 30 conference games each season,” according to Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee’s two permanent opponents were revealed on Thursday to be in-state rival Vanderbilt and long-time SEC rival Alabama.

The Vols swept No. 2 Vanderbilt at home last season in late April. Tennessee won the Friday night game on a 12th-inning walk-off home run courtesy of Griffin Merritt, followed by a dominant 17-1 victory in only seven innings on Saturday afternoon. Tennessee then turned around and took the Sunday afternoon game by a score of 10-5 in front of the home fans in Knoxville.

Tennessee did not play Alabama last season but did win two out of three against the Crimson Tide in Knoxville during the 2022 season. Alabama took the first game by a score of 6-3 but fell to Tennessee 9-2 on Saturday and 15-4 on Sunday. Tennessee also won all four of their games against Vanderbilt during the 2022 season as well.

More from RTI: Tennessee Baseball Playing Fall World Series Across East Tennessee

Here’s a look at the two permanent yearly opponents for each of the 16 SEC teams starting in the 2025 season (via UT Athletics):

Alabama: Auburn, Tennessee
Arkansas: Ole Miss, Missouri
Auburn: Alabama, Georgia
Florida: Georgia, South Carolina
Georgia: Florida, Auburn
Kentucky: South Carolina, Vanderbilt
LSU: Mississippi State, Texas A&M
Ole Miss: Mississippi State, Arkansas
Mississippi State: Ole Miss, LSU
Missouri: Oklahoma, Arkansas
Oklahoma: Missouri, Texas
South Carolina: Kentucky, Florida
Tennessee: Vanderbilt, Alabama
Texas: Texas A&M, Oklahoma
Texas A&M: Texas, LSU
Vanderbilt: Tennessee, Kentucky

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