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.
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:
Auburn-Georgia, the annual cross-division game known as the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, will be played in Auburn on October 9.
SEC championship matches will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on December 4.