The SEC released its kickoff times for the early season games and Kentucky was gifted a noon kickoff for the season opener at Auburn. From a fan perspective, it’s not what the Big Blue Nation wanted. BBN felt worthy of the coveted CBS afternoon game; however, CBS saw more in LSU-Mississippi State, and took that game instead. The night game on ESPN would’ve been a nice consolation, but ESPN picked up Alabama-Mizzou for its marquee matchup when the sun goes down.
So we’re at noon, not the ideal spot for the fan base, but the perfect spot for an upset. Why? Because it takes away yet another advantage for the Tigers.
We already know Auburn is at a disadvantage in its first home game with only 20 percent of Jordan-Hare Stadium open for fans. One of the toughest places to play in all of college football, Jordan-Hare is used to packing 100,000 screaming War Eaglers into the stands for its home games; this year, though, only about 17,000 will be allowed in.
This will not exist:
Taking it even further, of those 17K fans for the first game, the Kentucky game, Auburn announced the majority will be students, socially-distanced throughout the stadium.
You think these students are going to be ready for an 11 a.m. kickoff?
Scenes from Auburn tonight: pic.twitter.com/i8XW5CC0gx
— Giana Han (@giana_jade) August 23, 2020
When that alarm rings at 7 a.m. for the first game day beer of the season, you think they’re going to be excited to go sit six feet apart in a stadium with masks on? A house party is going to sound like a lot of fun on the morning of Saturday, September 26. Tickets will go unused. The ones who go will not be as loud as they would be at night.
Then there is the waiting game for the UK players and how the early start shaves off several hours of down time. First game of the year in a delayed season after being isolated since March, the Cats will be ready to knock some heads off. You want them to wake up and head butt the wall before heading downstairs to get on the bus? Or wake up, sit around for seven hours watching TV, overthinking things, then go play a night game once Auburn’s fan base had time to wake up. Option A–waking up and smacking them right in the mouth in a quiet stadium–would win the vote in the locker room, unanimously.
And finally, when Kentucky wins, it will be a party in Lexington and I, personally, would like all the hours I can get to celebrate 1-0 and remaining undefeated at Auburn since 2004.
Noon kickoff, let’s do this.