ATHENS – The SEC made its long-awaited announcement of the league’s planned opponents for this season on the SEC Network on Friday night.
The schedule comes eight days after the league sent shockwaves throughout the collegiate football landscape by announcing a ten-match, conference-only model.
Georgia, which in addition to its six East Division opponents has games with West Division powerhouses Alabama (road) and Auburn (home), adds a home game with Mississippi State and a road game with Arkansas.
The Razorbacks and Maroon Bulldogs were the next two teams on UGA̵
The twist is that Georgia will turn the arenas away from the games with the programs that tentatively remain planned for 2021 and 2022.
“We did our best to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the current eight conference games that were already planned for 2020,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “This schedule is a one-year deviation that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the effects of COVID-19.”
Here are the division games that each team plays
Added Friday: Arkansas (H), Texas A&M;
Already according to schedule: LSU (H), by Ole Miss
Added Friday: in Arkansas, Miss. State (H);
Already on schedule: in Alabama, Auburn (H).
Added Friday: in Alabama, Ole Miss (H);
Already according to schedule: in Auburn, Mississippi State (H).
Added Friday: at LSU, Alabama (H);
Already on schedule: Arkansas (H), in Mississippi State.
Added Friday: Auburn (H), at Ole Miss;
Already according to schedule: Texas A&M (H), at LSU
Added Friday: at Auburn, Texas A&M (H);
Already according to schedule: Alabama (H), in Arkansas.
Added Friday: LSU (H), in Mississippi State;
Already according to schedule: Ole Miss (H), at Texas A&M.
Added Friday: In Missouri, Kentucky (H);
Already according to schedule: Georgia (H), in Tennessee.
Added Friday: Georgia (H), in Florida;
Already according to schedule: Tennessee (H), Missouri.
Added Friday: in South Carolina, Tennessee (H);
Already according to schedule: Kentucky (H), in Georgia.
Added Friday: in Vanderbilt, Missouri (H);
Already according to schedule: in Florida, South Carolina (H).
Added Friday: Vanderbilt (H), in Georgia;
Already according to schedule: Missouri (H), in Kentucky.
Added Friday: South Carolina (H), in Kentucky;
Already according to schedule: at Vanderbilt, Florida (H).
Added Friday: Florida (H), in Tennessee;
Already according to schedule: in South Carolina, Vanderbilt (H);
The SEC has not yet announced the order or date of the season schedule.
The league opens the season on September 26 and will have two free weeks between then and the SEC Championship Game on December 19.
It’s different from the Big Ten schedule, which includes teams starting their seasons on September 3 and teams having three bye weeks each before the Big Ten title on December 5.
The reactions to Friday’s schedule revealed were mixed among many schools.
Athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation that he is not aware of any athletic principals or schools lobbying to influence their schedules.
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McGarity said league ADs voted on the ten-game-conference-only schedule without knowing who each team added opponent would be.
“It was not an intention to go there first,” McGarity said, “because it might have made some decision makers sweat if we knew who we were going to play.”
It was a best case for Georgia on Friday afternoon.
Other league models included Pac-12 and Big Ten also choose conference plans.
Big 12 and ACC play nine conference games plus a non-conference game.
The ACC has also added Notre Dame as a league member for this season.
SEC Executive Director Mark Womack was accused of creating the SEC’s new schedule, according to Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk.
Strong suggested that the SEC chose to start the season later because other students will soon return to campus.
“The campus will start filling up from mid-August and if there are outbreaks, it will provide an opportunity to settle down and come under better control,” Sterk said.
“This advice we got is to give it a chance to play itself and then start the season fresh on September 26.”
The SEC Championship Game is scheduled for December 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, two weeks after its original location.
DETAILS EMERGE: SEC selects 10 games, conference schedule
The league broke the modified schedule in the middle of the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most SEC football teams were unable to conduct spring soccer drills due to collegiate sports that stopped on March 12, when the NCAA basketball was stopped.
The spread of coronavirus led to the suspension of the spring sport, which led the NCAA to make concessions for spring sports athletes to be granted another year of eligibility.
Georgia football, along with the rest of the SEC programs, returned to campus about two months ago to begin volunteer training sessions on June 8.
The NCAA issued a six-week schedule that allowed football coaches to begin monitoring workouts in mid-July.
Teams are currently in a step-by-step process that allows them to use a football for one hour of each day’s training session during the prescribed 20-hour training weeks.
The SEC is evaluating how it wants its programs to continue with the start of autumn practice, now that the start of the season has been moved back to 26 September.
Most teams were originally scheduled to start the season on September 5, Georgia, the previous exception with a since interrupted September 7 Monday game against Virginia.
Interestingly, Georgia DawgNation fans correctly predicted which bulldogs would get:
Less than an hour before scheduling. #Georgia already plays Alabama and Auburn from the West. Which WEST rotation combo is likely to be added …
– MikeGriffith32 (@ MikeGriffith32) August 7, 2020
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