The SEC announced on Thursday that the conference will move to a 10-game conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season. The league-wide start to the season will be on September 26th, and the SEC Championship Game will be played on December 19th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. All schools will receive one mid-season open date and an open date on December 12th, the weekend before the title game.
This move eliminates all of Tennessee’s non-conference match-ups for the 2020 season, most notably the Vols’ scheduled trip to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners. The Vols will now no longer take on Charlotte, Furman, or Troy as well.
Tennessee will for sure play Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Arkansas, the eight teams already scheduled for their 2020 season. Now, UT will add two additional SEC West opponents to its schedule. It remains to be seen how the other two teams will be chosen for all conference members.
One possible option for the additional two games is teams adding their non-locked cross-divisional opponent from the next two seasons. For Tennessee, this would mean adding a home game against Ole Miss, and traveling to Baton Rouge to play LSU. Ole Miss is scheduled to play in Knoxville in 2021, while Tennessee is scheduled to play LSU on the road in 2022.
According to 247Sports national college football reporter Brandon Marcello, the SEC has several versions of the revised 2020 schedule ready to be voted on by the league’s 14 athletic directors. Per Marcello, there are more than three scheduling models.
Regardless of what plan is put into place, there are five potential opponents for Tennessee’s final two games: Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
Rocky Top Insider went through and ranked the potential matchups for the Vols in order from most favorable to least favorable.