If anything, this month has taught us that releasing a schedule does not guarantee that schedule will be played. If anything, it might just be the kiss of death. The Big Ten infamously canceled its season six days after releasing its schedule. The Mountain West's schedule lasted just five. The Pac-12 made it 11.
But you can't play a season without a schedule, and the SEC needs one. Training camps officially opened Monday across the conference, with teams unaware who they were preparing for.
The SEC's 10-game, conference-only season begins Sept. 26, and we now know who each team will face in Week 1:
-- Alabama at Missouri
-- Florida at Ole Miss
-- Georgia at Arkansas
-- Kentucky at Auburn
-- Mississippi State at LSU
-- Tennessee at South Carolina
-- Vanderbilt at Texas A&M
It had been rumored that the SEC would front-load the schedule by putting rivalry games in Week 1. Even if we can't finish the season, that thinking went, at least we'll get those games in.
Instead, the conference went in the opposite direction. Five of the seven contests are cross-divisional games (Tennessee-South Carolina and Mississippi State-LSU being the exceptions) and none are traditional rivalries. If circumstances demand pushing the season back, the SEC opened its schedule with a slate of games that could be postponed or canceled with minimal disruption to the championship race.
Although we can all agree it would be a tragedy to lose Mike Leach v. Ed Orgeron, Part I.
Here is the rest of the schedule.
And here is the full schedule in grid format.
As previously announced, the SEC Championship will be played Dec. 19 in Atlanta. Dec. 12 will be a league-wide off date to account for possible postponements.
In the meantime, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.