| NEWS Mixed Reaction To SEC’s 2020 Football Schedule - 247Sports

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When the Southeastern Conference revealed the football schedules for all league teams for 2020 (a round of applause for doing that, by the way), it sparked plenty of conversation.

Among Alabama followers, probably the most talked about issue was that the end of the season has been greatly modified with what are expected to be the top four teams in the SEC West with a tough end, including Alabama hosting Texas A&M and Auburn in those final two weeks; Auburn hosting LSU and then going to Bama; and LSU finishing at A&M.

There also was some talk that Auburn whining about its end-of-season games against Georgia and Alabama in its final three had resulted in a shift that had an unpopular domino effect with some teams.

It was noted that Mississippi State had been moved up from its usual November date to mid-October (taking the Third Saturday from Tennessee).

There also was conversation that three SEC opponents – Mississippi State, Tennessee, LSU – have open dates before playing Bama and that two others have out-of-conference cupcakes.

All-in all, though, not much consternation or elation from the Tide side.

Around the conference the 2020 schedule was greeted by some with intensity, some with almost indifference. Here’s a look at what we’ve seen while slumming in the 24/7 sites of other SEC teams:

ARKANSAS

There are highlights to the Arkansas 2020 schedule, notably the Razorbacks going to Notre Dame on Sept. 12, followed by Mississippi State on the road and Texas A&M at Arlington for a tough September. And Alabama and LSU back-to-back in a tough October.

Interestingly, the Hogs get a non-conference opponent (Louisiana-Monroe) in that next-to-last week of the season.

Also in the conversation, for the first time since the 1930s, Arkansas will not be playing a game in Little Rock. There are mixed feelings about that.

AUBURN

Auburn followers and columnists have come to the realization that their zeal to have the SEC break up that end-of-season run of its last two SEC games being Georgia and Alabama, both either at home (odd years) or on the road (even years). The SEC answered by taking out the cupcake division and giving Auburn LSU as a substitute for Georgia. AU did get what it wanted in that LSU will be at home, Alabama on the road, and the Georgia game moves to October.

Most observers see it as reasonable (particularly considering the other SEC West heavyweights got the same end-of-season treatment), some think Auburn has been picked on.

FLORIDA

Florida recognizes that its 2020 schedule “appears quite manageable.”

As usual, the Gators are at the low end of SEC teams earning travel points with nine home games in the Sunshine State. An early guess is that Florida would be the favorite in no fewer than 10 of the games on that schedule.

The non-conference games are against Eastern Washington, South Alabama, and New Mexico State in addition to FSU and the crossover games are against regular LSU and rotating Ole Miss.

Both Florida and Georgia get a bye week prior to their meeting in Jacksonville on October 31.

GEORGIA

It’s no surprise that the Bulldogs’ trip to Tuscaloosa on September 19, the SEC opener for both teams, is top news of the Georgia schedule, which also includes opening the 2020 season with a non-conference game against Virginia in Atlanta.

Neither side needs reminding of the last two meetings of Coach Kirby Smart’s Georgia against Bama, the Crimson Tide winning both a national championship and an SEC title with come-from-behind wins against the Dogs.

The opportunity to play Alabama in regular season play overwhelmed conversation about the change in date of the Georgia-Auburn game.

It was pointed out that both Alabama and Georgia will be rebuilding, including having new quarterbacks in 2020.

Most interesting is that almost no mention of Georgia vs. Florida.

KENTUCKY

So which football game will the Wildcats fans have to leave early in order to watch a Kentucky basketball practice at midnight?

In case any Alabama fans were wondering, that annual Tide-Mississippi State game on the second Saturday in November, is now Kentucky vs. Mississippi State on November 14. State is the regular SEC West crossover opponent for the Wildcats. UK also has Auburn on the schedule as its rotating West opponent.

Kentucky thinks playing Georgia in Lexington on November 21, when it could be nippy, might be an advantage for the Cats.

LSU

They aren’t happy in the bayou about several things, including a game in Houston against Rice. Yes, Rice. That’s one of four games against Texas teams – U-T San Antonio, Texas, Rice, and Texas A&M. And they also took note of the fact they end the season with road games at Auburn and at Texas A&M. They also are not happy that after the fifth game of the season they have seven consecutive SEC games.

Of course, one had an explanation. “Scheduling guy is an Alabama alum.”

OLE MISS

The Rebels open against Baylor in Houston, host Southeast Missouri, and then have five consective SEC games, including Auburn, LSU, Alabama, and Florida.

One believes, “That schedule was intentionally designed to put us in the cellar and keep us there.” Another is pleased to have warm-up games against Auburn and LSU before taking on Bama.

They also have their in-state game against Mississippi State on Thanksgiving, which is far from universally popular.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Mississippi State is one of those teams that still gets a cupcake on the Saturday before its final game, playing Alabama A&M before having Ole Miss the following Thursday (Thanksgiving). The Bulldogs have their open date before playing Alabama on October 17. State’s regular crossover game against the East is Kentucky and this year the Dogs get Missouri in the rotation.

That move of its game against Alabama from November to October sets up a brutal month for State, even with the open date. October opponents are Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn. Comments were generally favorable about that, Bulldogs fans preferring the tough slate to be in the middle of the schedule rather than at the beginning or at the end.

MISSOURI

The bank teller probably tells Missouri, “I’m sorry. I’m going to have to call the manager,” when Mizzou tries to cash an SEC check. It still seems suspicious Missouri is in the league.

The Tigers have an open date before finishing up against Arkansas and also plays Mississippi State from the West in November…and has its open date prior to that game. Top out-of-conference competition is a game at BYU on Oct. 10.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The Gamecocks make up for having to play Clemson every year with a bunch of local yokels – Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Wofford (the week before Clemson) – as their other non-conference games. In 2020 South Carolina will follow up this year’s crossover game hosting Alabama with a trip to LSU, to go along with its regular crossover against Texas A&M.

Some are a bit perturbed that the Cocks have to go to LSU, the second consecutive trip to Baton Rouge, ignoring the fact that Alabama is having to go to Columbia two trips in a row (the last in 2010).

The Gamecocks usually play Georgia early and Florida late, but in 2020 will travel to Gainesville in early October, host Georgia in early November.

They like getting LSU right after the Alabama-LSU game and Georgia following the Georgia-Florida game.

TENNESSEE

Although Tennessee has not been any better than (or even as good as) Vanderbilt and Kentucky in recent seasons, the end of the 2020 schedule for the Vols looks reasonably manageable with Arkansas, Kentucky, Troy, and Vanderbilt sandwiched around the toughie, at Georgia.

Tennessee plays at Oklahoma in the second week and has an open date before hosting Alabama, the other feature of next year’s schedule.

The Vols will be having an open date right in the middle of their schedule, while Bama is having to play Mississippi State the week before going to Knoxville.

There are some complaints about scheduling FCS teams (Charlotte, Furman, and Troy are on the schedule) and the possibility of it affecting attendance.

TEXAS A&M

After this year’s incredibly difficult schedule (at Clemson out-of-conference and at Georgia rotating crossover), the Aggies get a well-deserved break in 2020 with Colorado the “marquee” out-of-conference game and Vanderbilt the rotating SEC East crossover opponent.

But, of course, the Aggies are part of that round-robin gauntlet of the SEC West powers in 2020, playing at Alabama and home to LSU to finish out the season.

A&M’s open date is October 31, between at South Carolina and home to Ole Miss.

The Aggies could have as many as 20 starters returning from the 2019 team, and they are brimming with confidence about 2020. They start with four home games ane expect to be 10-0 going to that Alabama-LSU finish, most predicting 11-1, some 10-2.

A&M fans also don’t like FCS teams on the schedule. (Nick Saban may be getting some conversions to his plea for tougher schedules.)

VANDERBILT

No one is going to complain about Vanderbilt having Kansas State as its most prominent non-conference game. We haven’t seen the K-State 2020 schedule, but it’s likely Vandy is Kansas State’s top non-conference game, too.

The Commodores could win their first four games with Mercer, Missouri, and Colorado State joining K-State in September. Reality begins with the first game in October at Georgia.

2COMMENTS
Vandy is one of those teams searching for six wins and a bowl bid, and it might take a fourth consecutive win over in-state rival Tennessee to get there.

2020 SEC schedule fact: The most popular open dates are October 24 (Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt) and October 31 (Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri).



 

TUSKtimes

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I just don't see any major SEC disadvantage for Bama in 2020. Getting the aggies and barners at home is fine with me. As long as everyone else has to run the same gauntlet, the advantage goes to the deeper, more talented team.
 

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It's a disadvantage for several western division teams and Bama is certainly included here.

If we look at what the east will likely be (Georgia or Florida) their schedules leading up to the SECCG are far, far easier than those in the west. If we take Florida and look at their opponents (Florida State and New Mexico State) can you honestly say you believe either team will be ranked to end the 2020 season? Maybe. Maybe Florida State...and based on what we've seen so far, we're just as likely looking at a new coach as much as we could be looking at their ranking.

Now, look at Bama. A&M and Auburn, both with strong possibilities of being ranked, and then the SECCG. (The same applies to AU, A&M, and LSU.)

We're literally looking at Bama having to face three ranked opponents to close out the 2020 season and Florida State (and UGA) playing one and that one in the SECCG.

If you can't see the disadvantage, do you see the advantages of UGA and UF?
 

planomateo

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I said that in the other thread, Georgia has an absolutely cakewalk November. While the top 3-4 teams in the west are playing real competition in November. Terrible scheduling in my opinion.
 

50+yeartidefan

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And who is guaranteeing that both bama and uga are breaking in new QBs...
Probably..ok....but there is no guarantee Tua is nfl bound....
That family does things different......and getting brothers together is big for them...
The money will be there....and family moving from Hawaii to ttown.....shows a lot of different thoughts.....
Or even the uga QB....for that matter
And moving the bama game with TN is wrong..it is the 3rd Saturday in October...
 

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I pretty much always see the advantage of UGA and UF. They play in the weaker division of the SEC. About the only way for those guys to have something comparable to west teams would be cross-over games in the SEC and OOC opponent. South Carolina this season would be a good example.

They open with North Carolina which will probably be another emotional game for the Gamecocks. They play Alabama, @Texas A&M, and Clemson. They will have maybe the most talented team of the Muschamp era there but could easily end up 7-5.

Look at Georgia's schedule for 2019. Notre Dame, @GaTech for OOC, @Auburn, Texas A&M in their crossover.

The homestretch 2019 looks like this: Florida, Missouri, @Auburn, Texas A&M, @GaTech.

No directional school down the stretch, and 2 OOC teams and some tough crossovers. The Dawgs have their hands full this year.

In 2020 Georgia has it somewhat easier: Virginia and GaTech for their OOC. But @bama and Auburn as crossovers are tough. Down the stretch, Florida, @South Carolina, Tennessee, @Kentucky, GaTech. No directional school.


Florida's schedule in 2020 does look much more manageable than most west teams, but they look like they have their hands full this season: Miami and FSU in the OOC. Auburn and @LSU in their cross-over. No directional school coming down the homestretch.

Bama in 2019 is opening with Duke. Not just any Duke. These Dukies are picked to finish 5th in the Coastal Division by the ACC. Arguably the worst division in power 5 football. We have @South Carolina and Tennessee as our cross-over games. We play a directional school coming down the stretch of our barner game. How manageable is this schedule, even in the west?

Our 2020 schedule is tougher. Our Cross-over is tougher with Georgia and @Tennessee, We open with USC in our OOC game. Our homestretch is manageable from my perspective:
@LSU
Directional school
Texas A&M (home)
The barners (home)




easier
 

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Let's hope it stays that way. Tennessee wandering in the wilderness another decade seems about right. It doesn't get mentioned much anymore and the vols fans are just hoping it goes away I guess, but the BOT has been severely divided for years and there was no end to the underhanded bickering, backstabbing and plain sabatoge going on in their last AD and HC search. Tennessee has lost its way somewhat with their football culture because of it. It's all part of why things work in the long run or not. Here's to chaos.
 
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TerryP

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Let me relieve your mine, "easier" was another paragraph I didn't erase well enough. Apologies.

I said what I believe about the new schedule. If you don't want to address those points, specifically, in your rebuttal that's up to you.

The reason I mentioned 2 full seasons for all these teams is that I've always been under the impression that regardless of where the SEC games are located on the schedule in any particular year, some years, because of away games, they are just harder to get through. All of this is a personal impression of upcoming events anyway. In my world, the years we've traveled to Knoxville, Fayettville, Oxford, and BR has traditionally (historically if you like ) has always felt like more of a struggle to get through than the way the schedule sets up the next year.

Who knows, with the barners on away years with Texas A&M @College Station, along with Starkvegas and an east cross-over on their field, maybe that will change somewhat. I wouldn't be surprised if most SEC fans feel pretty much the same way.
 

TerryP

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@TUSKtimes, I'm taking what you said in your first post at face value. You said you didn't see a disadvantage in 2020, and then go on to mention other things like this season; this season, which has nothing to do with 2020.
 

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Whatever helps you get through the day. And if you're taking my first post at face value, what is the context? I qualified all my main points of the argument. The SEC schedule is basically just that. Regardless of where they show, we got to play our west brethren. A built-in disadvantage to the competition to the east for about a decade now. Having Miss State earlier or Texas A&M before the barner game we have to play these guys. The advantage for me is that we play the Aggies in our house, and then the next week we play the barners in our house. The aggies and barners run the same schedule gauntlet. Without the home-field advantage. Advantage Bama.

By the way, I clearly qualified all this WHY stuff as far as Bama having the advantage in the 2020 schedule. Remember this context?


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I'll copy the important bits...but Christopher has a good video on the link above.


---------------------------------------

Check out the final two regular-season opponents for the teams most likely to be in the running:

Eastern Division
• Florida: New Mexico State, at Florida State

• Georgia: at Kentucky, Georgia Tech

Western Division
• Alabama: Texas A&M, Auburn

• Auburn: LSU, at Alabama

• LSU: at Auburn, at Texas A&M

• Texas A&M: at Alabama, LSU
 

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