Basketball doesn't get as much attention as football at these SEC shindigs, but one important piece of scheduling news was released this week: the conference is going from one permanent opponent to three beginning in the 2015-16 season.
A permanent opponent in basketball refers to the opponent a team always* plays twice in a season. Arkansas' current permanent opponent is Missouri, but two more teams will join the Tigers as teams the Razorbacks will always* face twice.
Part of this is likely brought on by certain teams who had become accustomed to playing divisional opponents twice, only to see that fall away when the conference expanded. COUGHTennessee/KentuckyCOUGH.
However, those two opponents won't be set until likely later this year.
Who would you want to see as Arkansas' permanent opponents?
You can bet the Razorbacks will keep Mizzou, so that leaves two slots available. Would you want to see Kentucky twice a year every year? The Wildcats are already paired up with Florida and almost definitely will be paired up with Tennessee, so their third opponent could be anybody else. Of course, as we remind ourselves every winter, it's not the early/mid-90s anymore when the Arkansas/Kentucky rivalry was at its peak, but the two teams do still manage to play exciting games pretty frequently. The two games last season were certainly among the highlights of the year.
I think you'd like to have one of the better SEC teams in at least one of those slots, so if not Kentucky, perhaps Florida or Tennessee? Or would you like to take on Bruce Pearl's Auburn teams since they seem to be the program Arkansas has the most success against?
Personally, I think I'd like to see Kentucky and Auburn as the two teams, but I think there are several good options. What do you think?