We are one hour from the SEC’s grand reveal of each team’s two additional opponents on this year’s schedule (2020 remix edition). Friday evening is an odd time to announce such big news, especially when fans have been waiting for it, but who am I to tell Greg Sankey when to Sankey bomb college football fans.
So we’re getting the new matchups tonight, in an hour, with each team’s schedule coming in a separate grand reveal sometime next week. (Just give us the schedules, Greg.) While we wait to see who Kentucky will add to its current group of eight opponents, I’ll do a very quick summary of the options in case you’re unfamiliar with the current state of the teams UK wasn’t originally scheduled to play.
First, these are the eight SEC teams we know will be on UK’s new 10-game, conference-only football schedule: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Two of the following teams will be added at 6 p.m.
Alabama: Mac Jones is in for Tua Tagovailoa… the same Mac Jones who at one time was committed to Kentucky as the next in line to lead the Cats at QB. But Jones decommitted from Kentucky for Alabama, like people do, and now he is QB1 in Tuscaloosa in 2020. The younger Tagovailoa even transferred to Maryland knowing Jones had secured the job. Will the SEC make him go to Lexington, the city he threw aside for Nick Saban? Mark Stoops and his defense would have a little extra motivation for that one.
As for the rest of the Crimson Tide, they’re good. Five potential first-round draft picks. Ranked third in the country in the preseason coaches poll. The usual but with QB question marks around Jones.
Last game vs. UK: 2016
Arkansas: Arkansas has a new first-time head coach, Sam Pittman, who moved to Fayetteville from his position as the offensive line coach at Georgia, a job he held for four seasons. Arkansas is not good and one of two teams to watch for a winless 2020 now that it’s an SEC-only schedule. The other is Vanderbilt.
Last game vs. UK: 2019
LSU: The defending national champion LSU Tigers have a new quarterback and a new defensive coordinator in 2020. Will the new guys need some getting used to? Remember, there are no tune-up games this fall.
LSU is expected to take a step back, but not too far back. The Tigers rank fifth in the country in the preseason coaches poll.
Last game vs. UK: 2014
Ole Miss: Lane Kiffin is back in the SEC with a decent offense he inherited in Oxford. Ole Miss is expected to be bad to average in Kiffin’s first season, picked sixth in the SEC West in the preseason poll, just above Arkansas.
Last game vs. UK: 2017
Texas A&M: A&M QB Kellen Mond will either be a superstar for A&M or he won’t, and that will decide the direction of the Aggies’ season. The coaches poll ranked Texas A&M outside the top 10 at 13th earlier this week, the fourth-best team in the SEC West, which is crazy.
Last game vs. UK: 2018
If the SEC decides to move the next two SEC West opponents forward, Kentucky will host LSU and travel to Ole Miss as the Cats are set to play those SEC cross-divisional games in 2021 and 2022.