The SEC has released its full 10-game conference schedule for all 14 teams in the conference. While the entire collegiate Fall sports season is currently in serious doubt, that doesn’t mean we still can’t assess which teams had the best and worst luck when it comes to what would have been their 2020 slate. Here are the toughest and easiest schedules in the SEC for the 2020 football season.
Feast your eyes on one of the toughest college football schedules in recent memory. Not only do the Razorbacks have to play the murderer’s row that is the SEC West, but they also have to go up against Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee all out of the East. To make things worse, Arkansas has to play Auburn, Florida, and Texas A&M all away from home.
No other team in the SEC has to play the projected top 3 squads in each division so it’s obvious that first-year Head Coach Sam Pittman has his work cut out for him. Arkansas has possibly been the worst Power 5 team for the past two seasons, and that may continue in 2020 as it’s very likely the Razorbacks have seven losses already guaranteed out of this 10-game season. That isn’t even taking into account their road trips to Missouri and Mississippi State. They are an easy choice for the top spot.
Arkansas adds Georgia & Florida to a schedule that already included Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M & Auburn. Arkansas AD @HunterYurachek: "We now own the most challenging schedule in the history of college football"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 7, 2020
If you think you’re having a bad 2020, here’s Arkansas’ football schedule pic.twitter.com/5Ly7wztBXE
— MyBookie Sportsbook (@mybookiebet) August 8, 2020
2. Mississippi State
Not enough people are talking about how rough the Bulldogs are going to have it in 2020. Sure, they stayed away from playing Florida, but the next option isn’t much better as they have to travel to Lexington to play Kentucky. We all know that usually doesn’t end well for Mississippi State. The real reason why the Bulldogs grab the No. 2 spot is because of their other three road games which are Alabama, LSU, and Georgia. Yikes.
Throw in visits from Texas A&M and Auburn and you have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. This is another case of a new coach getting dealt a brutal hand as Mike Leach will have to rely on his high-octane passing attack to outscore opposing SEC offenses. If the Bulldogs can’t put a lot of points on the board this fall, then this schedule will eat them alive.
Mike Leach gets hired at Mississippi State then everybody else gets scared and cancels the season. Typical.
— Brandon Walker (@BWalkerSEC) August 8, 2020
The Vols win the battle for the toughest schedule in the East Division. While Missouri and Kentucky will both have challenging schedules to navigate, it’s Tennessee that will have the hardest road as they draw Alabama, Texas A&M, and Auburn all from the West. While the Aggies and the Crimson Tide both travel to Knoxville (along with Florida), Jeremy Pruitt and company have to play Georgia and Auburn on the road.
There is a lot of hype around this team as 17 out of 22 starters from last year’s team return. However, it’s going to be very hard to exceed last season’s eight victories with a slate such as that. Expect a typical average season for Tennessee this fall.
Winners & Losers of SEC schedule release:
#4 Ole Miss
#4 Texas A&M
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) August 7, 2020
The Gators have the easiest SEC schedule as they are one of three teams in the conference who don’t have to play Alabama in 2020. Also, Florida only plays two truly tough games on the road which are at Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Georgia game is on a neutral field while LSU and Kentucky have to play in Gainesville. Finally, throw in the fact that the Gators play both Arkansas and Ole Miss from the West and things are truly set up well for Dan Mullen’s team in year three of his tenure at Florida.
Kyle Trask — One of the best quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft Class
??Timing ??Accuracy??Touch pic.twitter.com/92i8iFv1dd
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) May 14, 2020
Like Florida, the Commodores steered clear of playing the Crimson Tide this fall. Their road schedule presents some tough challenges (Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas A&M), but when compared to the other teams in the conference, Vanderbilt’s schedule is simply more manageable. Coach Derek Mason has all of his defensive starters back this season which means they will need to bully the offenses of Tennessee, South Carolina, and Ole Miss all at home if they want a shot at a 5-5 season. Things still look pretty bleak for the Commodores on offense, but there is a glimmer of hope here.
I know putting a team that has to play at Alabama on the “easiest schedule’ ranking seems a bit wacky, but it really does make sense. Sure, that’s a very tough task, but the rest of the Bulldogs’ schedule shapes up really well. Their next two hardest games are Auburn at home and Florida on a neutral field. And honestly, that’s it. Tennessee and Kentucky aren’t cakewalks by any means, but they are both not on Georgia’s level just yet. A kind draw of Arkansas and Mississippi State from the West makes things even easier.
Arkansas when they saw Georgia and Florida added to a schedule that already included BAMA, LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn. pic.twitter.com/M6G6x2iBC0
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) August 7, 2020
Honestly, if Georgia didn’t have to play in Tuscaloosa this schedule would have a strong argument for the easiest in the SEC.
Now let’s hope things don’t get canceled…