Winners And Losers In The New SEC Schedule

Tony Barnhart

On Friday the SEC released the additional two games for each team that will allow the conference, COVID-19 virus willing, to play a 10-game conference-only schedule.

Just moments later the howling began.

The announcement was made at 6 p.m. ET on the popular Paul Finebaum Show  on The SEC Network and the fans wasted no time in expressing their displeasure.

But to tell the truth, it was fun. Because for the first time in a long time fans were able to vent about football instead the damned virus.

No times or dates were released for the additional games. A full schedule with that information will come later.

The schedule for each SEC team is made up of three components: The other six teams in its division, one permanent team from the other division, and a rotating team from the remaining six teams in the opposite divisions. 

Some early reports simply had the SEC adding on the cross-divisional teams that were already scheduled to rotate on in 2021 and 2022.

But what the SEC ultimately did was to recognize those teams that already had tough cross-division opponents and attempt to balance out those schedules.

“We made every effort to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the existing eight conference games that had already been scheduled for 2020,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “This schedule is a one-year anomaly that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the impact of COVID-19.”

There was no system that was going to make everybody happy. That just doesn’t happen in the SEC.

Here are some of the Losers and Winners in Friday's announcement from the SEC.

LOSERS

Arkansas: The Hogs have lost 19 straight SEC games and had a schedule that already included, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Auburn. On Friday the SEC added a home game with Georgia and road game with Florida. Both are preseason Top 10 teams.

Athletics director Hunter Yurachek was not happy.

“With these additions we now own the most challenging schedule in the history of college football,” he said on Twitter. The Hogs also have a first-year head coach in Sam Pittman.

Missouri:  Welcome to the SEC, Eli Drinkwitz: The new head coach of Missouri already had his hands full with a schedule that included Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. On Friday the SEC added a trip to LSU and home game with Alabama.

Tennessee: The Vols already had Florida, Alabama, and Georgia on the schedule. Friday the SEC added a trip to Auburn and a home game vs. Texas A&M. That's five games against teams in the top 13 of the new coaches poll.

Texas A&M: After last season's brutal schedule that included Clemson and Georgia outside of the SEC West, the Aggies thought they were in good shape for 2020. Now they play Florida at home and Tennessee on the road.

WINNERS

Alabama: The conspiracy theories always come out of the woodwork at times like this. Alabama picked up a home game with Kentucky and a road game at Missouri. But Alabama already had Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee and Texas A&M on the schedule.

LSU: The defending national champions, who play Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M in the SEC West, got Missouri at home and Vanderbilt on the road.

Georgia: The Bulldogs play Alabama and Auburn in the SEC West plus Florida and Tennessee in the East.  So the conference added a trip to Arkantate. sas and a home game against Mississippi S

The SEC does not begin play until Sept. 26 and will play its conference championship game on Dec. 19.

Here is the complete list of the additional games in alphabetical order.

Alabama: at Missouri, Kentucky

Arkansas: Georgia, at Florida

Auburn: at South Carolina, Tennessee

Florida: Arkansas, at Texas A&M

Georgia: at Arkansas, Miss. State

Kentucky: at Alabama, Ole Miss

LSU: Missouri, at Vanderbilt

Ole Miss: at Kentucky, South Carolina

Miss. State: at Georgia, Vanderbilt

Missouri: at LSU, Alabama

South Carolina: at Ole Miss; Auburn

Tennessee : at Auburn, Texas A&M

Texas A&M : Florida, at Tennessee

Vanderbilt: at Miss. State, vs. LSU