The release of the SEC football schedule on Wednesday features the return of non-conference matches and an opening day roster on September 4 that includes a Power 5 bout. LSU in UCLA, Georgia vs. Clemson (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Miami vs. Alabama (Atlanta).
Texas A&M, which came close to making the University Football Playoffs last season, will travel to Colorado in Week 2, recreating the previous Top 12 program bouts. The game will be played at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
Blonde, which will be led by new coach Bryan Harsin, will play on Penn State in Week 3.
Defending champions Alabama will kick off conference games that Saturday with a trip to Florida, setting up a rematch of last season’s SEC championship match, which was won by Crimson Tide 52-46.
“We are proud to have completed the 2020 football season under unique circumstances and will now focus on playing the 2021 football season on schedule,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus will continue to guide our decision making if any adjustments need to be made.”
The SEC canceled all non-conference matches last season amid the pandemic, with teams playing 10 regular season matches against league opponents each.
The 2021 schedule will also feature two homecoming trips for the head coach.
Coach Ole Miss Lane Kiffin will return to Tennessee for the first time as head coach when the Rebel fight the Volunteers on October 16. Kiffin only spent one season as head coach at Tennessee in 2009 before leaving for the USC, sparking a commotion from students in Knoxville.
Former coach Ole Miss Hugh Freeze will return to his old hometown Freedom a trip to Ole Miss on November 6. Freeze spent five seasons as head coach at Ole Miss before stepping down in 2017 after school officials discovered a pattern that included phone calls to numbers associated with female escort services. Freeze took over the Liberty program in 2019 and have turned 18-6 in two seasons.
Other highlights of the SEC’s release schedule include:
The post-season play is what defines each team, and the definition this Georgia team comes to. No, it’s not perfect, but this Bulldog has just laid the foundations of a championship to build on next season, all because of the culture that Kirby Smart and his staff have created around this football program.
After trailing 21-10 to the Cincinnati Bearcats, it seemed all hope had been lost. Players sit on the bench when opposing units take over the field and do not appear to be investing in play. Bearcat head coach Luke Fickell appears to have the answer to everything the Bulldog throws at him and is ready to send the Bearcats down to 10-0.
However, there was a clear “Neve quitting” attitude on this soccer team from Georgia this Friday. The defense brought the Bulldog back into the game, and the three main players who got them to that point were midfielder Azeez Ojulari, defensive tackle Jordan Davis and cornerback Tyson Campbell. What is the common thread between these players? They all have the option of entering the NFL Draft and are of relatively high value. And recent history shows, these players usually opt out.
Each of these players worked hard, however, and struggled to take home a Peach Bowl win. The Kirby Smart head coach deserves a lot of credit here. Sure, Smart made some questionable decisions these days, including burning the time limit on the punt with more than two minutes remaining in play. Nonetheless, he had a future top 60 pick that played hard to the final whistle in their final college game, and as a result, he took home the Peach Bowl Trophy.
The Bulldogs built up each other’s energies in the second half, stringing together positive play and coming together to steal the momentum. Cincinnati had chance after chance, but together the Bulldogs got in the way of the Bearcat time and time again.
From the first day of the fall camp, the goal is a national championship, and hope cannot be less. This Friday’s win laid the foundations that the Bulldog coaching staff could call next season to put together a season worthy of a college football playoff berth.
Next year, quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields will turn pro. Alabama is missing a significant amount of talent, and Florida will likely be back down to Earth after a season charged by seniors, and future NFL draft elections. One school must be able to compete to win titles in the relatively new landscape of college football. Today Georgia is taking it one step closer to being that team, and that is the most important step: building culture.
For the second time in 10 days, Georgia’s scheduled match against Vanderbilt has been canceled due to Commodores unable to meet the SEC’s list and minimum position requirements, the SEC announced Monday.
Bulldog No. 9 are scheduled to play the Commodores winless at home in the final game of their regular season at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. The SEC said the game would be declared a no-contest.
Georgia is aggressively trying to find a replacement for Vanderbilt to play on Saturday. The Bulldogs have been in discussions with the State of Colorado about the possibility of playing the game, sources told ESPN.
“We are conducting due diligence,” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity told ESPN.
The teams were originally scheduled to play in Athens, Georgia, on December 5, but matches were postponed the day before due to similar roster problems at Vanderbilt related to COVID-19, contact tracing, elimination and injuries.
In an interview with ESPN on December 4, Georgia’s athletic director, Greg McGarity, expressed skepticism about Vanderbilt playing the game after being postponed.
“We are ready to play every week, and we have two games postponed and one almost postponed,” said McGarity. “It’s frustrating, and when you deal with young people it’s hard for them to understand, especially when you’ve done the best you can to prepare for every game.
“It’s a shame. It was Senior’s Day, and the parents are in the process. If we play on the 19th, that’s great, but I think there are concerns if it will be played. I know Vandy is committed to playing. I just hope it develops that way . “
Georgia beat Missouri 49-14 on Saturday’s away match; The Commodores lost 42-17 to Tennessee at home.
Saturday’s cancellation also ended a brief but career-record kicker Sarah Fuller. Against Tennessee, the goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team became the first woman to score in a Power 5 conference match by kicking off an extra pair of points. Against Missouri on November 28, she became the first woman to appear in a Power 5 game with a squib to open the second half.
Fuller thanked the program in a statement released on social media Monday.
“I was accepted as an athlete and a true member of this team,” he wrote. “This is an experience I will never forget and will cherish forever.”
On Friday, the SEC announced a roster of games for the final two weeks of the regular season, due to delays from the start of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The conference will play six games on December 12 – an open date set for all schools at the start of the season – and up to five games on December 19, including SEC championship matches.
number 5 Texas A&M (6-1) is scheduled to host Be Miss on December 12, a match originally scheduled for November 21 but was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the Aggies program. Ole Miss has suspended team activities due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests in its program and is scheduled to resume its activities on Wednesday.
The Aggies’ ability to play each of their last matches is a key part of their potential University Football Playoff hopes. The same is true for No. 6 Florida (7-1), who was scheduled to host LSU on 12 December in a match postponed from 17 October. The Gators currently lead SEC East.
In addition to SEC championship matches, on December 19 Ole Miss will travel to LSU and Missouri to travel to the State of Mississippi. Other games tentatively scheduled for that date are Texas A&M in Tennessee and Vanderbilt in Georgia. If Texas A&M and / or Georgia qualify for an SEC championship match, games not played by each team on that day will be declared no contest by the SEC.