Connor O’Gara | 12 hours ago
We’ve all been dissecting the 2019 SEC schedule for so long that we decided to move on to the 2020 slate.
OK, not really, but we did get the full unveiling of next year’s schedule. And yes, you better believe it’s getting people on the internet all riled up.
So let’s talk a little more about that.
Here are my 5 takeaways from the 2020 schedule announcement:
1. No pre-Iron Bowl cupcakes
You want Alabama and Auburn to face The Citadel right before the Iron Bowl? Too bad. Not only are both teams not facing FCS squads in the second-to-last week of the season, but they’re facing possible top 10 teams. Alabama will get a home game against Texas A&M while The Tiger Bowl will bring LSU to Auburn.
Will there be a noticeable impact of this? Probably not. It would have been more entertaining had one team made that move and not the other. That would have made for an instant excuse machine for the losing team.
Why the reason for the change? It appears it was the result of the Auburn-Georgia game switch. But more on that later.
What we do know is that it’ll be the first time since 2013 that Auburn leads into the Iron Bowl with an SEC team, and it’ll be the first time since 2008 that Alabama took on a conference foe ahead of rivalry week.
2. How about that start for new-look Alabama?
Speaking of Alabama, my goodness is that a way to start the season. Keep in mind that we’re expecting massive turnover on the offensive side of the ball in the likelihood that Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood and others leave for the NFL after the 2019 season.
Alabama’s start is:
- Week 1 — vs. USC (in Dallas)
- Week 2 — vs. Georgia State
- Week 3 — vs. Georgia
USC is a mystery but having that Georgia game so high up on the schedule seems significant for that likely young group. Then again, Georgia could be in its first few games without the likes of Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift and Andrew Thomas, all of whom are also draft-eligible at season’s end.
Whatever the case, getting a Georgia-Alabama matchup in September as opposed to December will be welcomed with open arms.
3. Give me Mizzou’s schedule all day
I didn’t realize how favorable it was until I saw it all laid out. And by “favorable,” we’re obviously looking through a 2019 lens. But still, Mizzou has:
- 0 nonconference games vs. Power 5 teams
- Crossover games at Mississippi State and vs. Arkansas
- No games vs. Alabama, Auburn, LSU or Texas A&M
- Only 3 games vs. teams that finished in 2018 AP Top 25
As far as SEC schedules go, it’s hard to get much better than that. For the post-Kelly Bryant/Albert Okwuegbunam era, Barry Odom should be sitting pretty. Perhaps the only question is if Mizzou’s schedule sets up better for 9 wins this year or next year?
3A. But give me Mississippi State’s announcement video all day
Yes. This is awesome. Absolutely awesome.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
— Mississippi State Football (@HailStateFB) August 7, 2019
The Charles Barkley one made me laugh out loud.
4. Florida ain’t exactly racking up the frequent flier miles
A whopping 9 of Florida’s 12 games will be played in the Sunshine State. The ones that won’t be are:
- at Tennessee
- at Ole Miss
- at Vanderbilt
Those are all games that Florida should be favored in (I realize predicting that a year in advance is somewhat useless). Meanwhile, Florida’s only nonconference test is against a Florida State team that is still trying to #DoSomething right under Willie Taggart.
But at the very least, Florida still will have to face likely top 10 teams Georgia and LSU. It could be worse.
5. I realize how upset people are about Auburn-Georgia getting moved up, but …
Life will go on? The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is a tradition as good as any in the SEC. But that classic matchup will no longer be played in November and is now in October.
Auburn didn’t want to end the season with consecutive SEC road games, which explains why the shuffling happened. That’ll mark the first time the game is played outside of November since 1936. Does it make sense? Sure. Auburn lost 5 of its past 6 matchups against Georgia and with UGA and Alabama looking like yearly top 3 teams for the foreseeable future, it made sense to try and even things out a bit.
Will that explanation work with the college football purists? Probably not, but if Auburn is better for it in the long run, I can imagine at least one side of the rivalry will learn to live with it.