Pat Dye thinks Auburn, Missouri should switch divisions in SEC

Pat Dye
Auburn Vault/YouTube

Former Auburn coach Pat Dye wants to see some realignment happen in the SEC.

Dye said Monday on the “Paul Finebaum Show” that Auburn and Missouri should switch divisions in the SEC.

“We (Auburn) touch Florida, Georgia and Tennessee,” Dye said. “We need to be in the (SEC) East and Missouri needs to be in the (SEC) West. If we played nine (conference) games, we could do that, because we could still play Alabama every year, and then we’d have our meeting with Tennessee and Florida and Georgia.”

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With a nine-game conference schedule, Auburn would be able to keep Alabama as a permanent fixture on its schedule each season without issue, as the Crimson Tide would not be forced to give up an annual rivalry between the Tigers and current permanent cross-divisional rival Tennessee.

If Auburn were in the SEC East, it would play its current permanent cross-divisional rival, Georgia, by default every season.

Realigning Auburn and Missouri has been suggested in the past since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012. Geographically, Missouri is located more to the west than the east, but putting it in the SEC West when it initially joined would have required a school that already had been in the conference like Auburn to move to the SEC East to keep the divisions even with seven schools apiece.

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Texas A&M, which is even further geographically west than Missouri, was placed in the SEC West when it also joined the SEC from the Big 12 in 2012.

Current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in April 2016 that he would not be opposed to the school moving to the SEC East.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, among SEC coaches, has said in the past that he’s in favor of moving to a nine-game conference schedule.

The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 all already play nine-game conference schedules as opposed to eight games like the SEC and ACC.

Dye coached Auburn for 12 years, from 1981-92, and won four SEC championships.

RELATED: Gene Stallings, Pat Dye speaking together in Huntsville this summer

(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)

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