Even though the SEC decided to scrap its two-division format for basketball beginning next season, it's clear TV executives still believe the conference's strength lies in the teams who formerly made up the SEC East.
Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Georgia will make a combined 12 appearances on ESPN's Super Tuesday next season compared to just four appearances from teams previously in the SEC West. Additionally, ESPN announced earlier this month that the Wildcats and Commodores will meet in the lone GameDay telecast awarded to the conference next season.
The choices from ESPN reflect the projected strength of Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida next season as well as the dominance of SEC East schools in recent years. Five of the six SEC East teams made the NCAA tournament last season, whereas SEC West champ Alabama's 12-4 conference record only sent the Tide to the NIT.
If there are any schools with reason to complain about not receiving enough exposure, it's probably Alabama and Mississippi State, both of whom will make just one Super Tuesday appearance next season.
The Tide return the core of last season's vastly improved team that likely was one of the final teams left out of the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs should be one of the league's most intriguing teams with UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie eligible, mercurial big man Renardo Sidney slimming down and senior Dee Bost finally able to play for a full season.
Of the five SEC programs who don't appear at all on Super Tuesday next season, the most surprising is probably Tennessee. Sure, the Vols figure to be down as a result of personnel losses and the transition from coach Bruce Pearl to Cuonzo Martin, but it's still a slap in the face for a program that has been an NCAA tournament fixture recently and came within a point of the Final Four in 2010.