I have been trying to peruse different SEC blogs, following a lot of direction from BillC (thanks, Bill). I posted the following reply on a post from Bill's links earlier today. I have some background in this, as my private group was a researcher and contributor to the many different NFL realignment plans a few years back. We were big proponents of allowing teams to reciprocally schedule annual rivalry games if realignment threatened them.
"1. Let each school decide if it is more important to have a yearly "rival game" or a regular rotation. If a school chooses a yearly rivalry game over a more regular rotation, then the other rivalry school would have to reciprocate. Then, move to step 2 below. If say only 6 of the 14 schools vote in a rivalry game for themselves, then the remaining 8 schools would be scheduled in a more normal rotation, realizing that the "rivalry game" schools would appear less frequently in their rotation (much as it is now in the 6-1-1 model). If at least 10 of the 14 schools choose a rivalry game, you have your answer right there - scrap this plan and go with the 6-1-1. But you have at least given everyone a say and will find out what is most important to the schools.
2. If scheduling is being made this "professionally" difficult, then treat it as such with a NFL-style model, allowing for different scenarios. The NFL plugs in the different preferences and prohibitive actions into a computer model. In turn, the computer model spits out the best case scenario. If 6 teams approve a rivalry game (as in step 1), they are entered into the computer (along with certain dates like the "Third Saturday"), the rest are entered into a more regular rotation (with certain preferences) and the computer spits out the best case scenario from the information it is given."