After making the, uh, interesting move to reveal Week 1 opponents on Monday afternoon, the SEC finally decided to just go ahead and release its full football schedules for the 2020 season — although kickoff times still have yet to be set.
At first glance, this is a pretty tough schedule, but that was the case even before COVID-19 forced the SEC to adopt an all-conference model with two added opponents. Although the Gamecocks lose a top-5 matchup in Clemson, picking up Auburn — with no true cupcake opponents — isn’t much of a trade.
A few observations...
- October is going to make or break this season, in all likelihood. South Carolina gets a breather with Vanderbilt in the mix, but otherwise has to contend with treks to the Swamp and Baton-Rouge, and a visit from Auburn — a team the Gamecocks haven’t beaten since joining the SEC — doesn’t make things any easier.
- Five teams in the preseason top 13! Whew.
- Is this the year South Carolina can finally beat Texas A&M? Probably not, I’m just asking questions.
- It’s very, very strange to play Tennessee so early in the season and not on Halloween weekend. On the hand, it’s just as weird to play Georgia so late in the season, and on Thanksgiving weekend to boot. I guess that week will still have a bit of a rivalry feel for South Carolina, despite Clemson’s absence.
- The season finale coming against Kentucky is kind of interesting. That game has acquired a bit of juice in recent years, given South Carolina’s struggles against UK, and the Gamecocks finally got that monkey off their backs in 2019. The Wildcats would love to put it back, though.
Assuming this season is played in full, what do y’all think? It’s a murderer’s row, but it’s never easy in the SEC.