Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU Tigers head coach Johnny Jones congratulates his players as they leave the court during a timeout in the Tigers' SEC home opener against Georgia, Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on LS


DESTIN, Fla. – The Southeastern Conference announced a new men’s basketball scheduling format Thursday featuring three permanent opponents starting with the 2015-16 season.

LSU’s permanent opponents will be Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas, omitting Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Tigers will play those three teams home and home, as well as home and home games against two other rotating opponents to be determined, and one game against the remaining eight SEC teams.

Conference schedules were not announced.

“There’s always a lively discussion as to how permanent opponents may be assigned,” said Mark Whitworth, associate commissioner for men’s basketball. “We can see a great blend of traditional rivals and there’s an opportunity to create new rivals.”

SEC permanent opponents

LSU: Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas

Alabama: LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State

Arkansas: LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri

Auburn: Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia

Florida: Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt

Georgia: South Carolina, Florida, Auburn

Kentucky: Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

Ole Miss: Mississippi State, Auburn, Missouri

Missouri: Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss

South Carolina: Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State

Tennessee: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina

Texas A&M: LSU, Arkansas, Missouri

Vanderbilt: Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida