BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On Friday, the SEC gave us a sneak peek of what the 10-game, conference-only slate would look like. The conference announced the two additional non-division games for each school.
For Ole Miss, they'll play Kentucky on the road and South Carolina in Oxford, while Mississippi State will play host to Vanderbilt, but will travel to Athens to take on Georgia.
The Rebels lead the all-time series against the Wildcats, winning eight of their last 11 match-ups, while splitting the series with the Gamecocks, most recently falling in a 48-44 shootout in 2018.
The Bulldogs will make their third straight trip to Athens and seek their first victory in a decade. Against Vanderbilt, it’s the exact opposite. MSU currently boasts a three-game win streak against the Commodores and haven’t taken an ‘L’ since 2004.
It’s not the ideal situation any new head coach wants to walk into, but Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach are taking the challenge head on.
Both of them responding to the news tonight. Ole Miss head coach, Lane Kiffin, said “It’s exciting to see our league take another step toward finalizing the schedule, and I’m grateful that our players and fans will have the opportunity to experience these additional matchups with South Carolina and Kentucky along with our other eight opponents. As planning continues toward a 2020 season, we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of all those involved at the forefront of our discussions.”
Mississippi State head coach, Mike Leach, shared his thoughts as well:
“Our program looks forward to welcoming Vanderbilt to Davis Wade Stadium and traveling to Georgia this fall. We are excited about our challenging conference-only schedule featuring five games in Davis Wade Stadium. We are extremely proud of our program’s growth during the summer access period as well as the patience and resiliency our student-athletes have displayed across these last several months. We will continue monitoring the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, while following all medical guidance and protocols from health authorities. Their health, safety and well-being remain our No. 1 priority. We are eager to return to the field for preseason football activities in a couple of weeks and continue the process of preparing for our season.”
Both coaches also expressed that health and safety will remain the primary concern this season. Dates and times for all games will be announced within the next two weeks as the league continues to monitor the virus.
Under normal circumstances, SEC schools play the other six teams in their division, two non-divisional opponents and four out-of-conference games each season. In the newly revised schedule for 2020, each school will play four non-divisional opponents in addition to the other six teams in its division.