The SEC has officially announced its adjusted football schedule for this fall, which features 10 games that will be conference-only. That means all 14 league members need two more SEC games added to their respective schedules.
Initially, the thought was the two added games would simply be the next two non-permanent cross-division opponents on each teams’ schedule. So in the case of the Kentucky Wildcats, that would have added a home matchup with the LSU Tigers and a road game vs. the Ole Miss Rebels for the upcoming season.
Not so fast, according to SI’s Ross Dellenger, who says strength of schedule will determine the two opponents.
I was spitballing about the two additional SEC games in 2020.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 30, 2020
I'm now told that a separate scheduling model - composed by the league office using strength of schedule - will determine the two additional opponents for 2020. https://t.co/hFWO0Caljp
It’s not completely clear how SOS is being factored in. Is it 2019 SOS? The projected 2020 SOS? And what’s the order? The weaker SOS teams get two harder opponents, or two easier?
My guess is easier SOS teams get two tougher opponents, which probably wouldn’t be good news for Kentucky since, in theory, they played one of the weaker SEC schedules last year. Their cross-division opponents were 6-7 Mississippi State and 2-10 Arkansas.
Missouri, who played Arkansas and Ole Miss, was the only SEC East team with a weaker conference schedule than Kentucky.
In terms of the entire conference, only Missouri and Ole Miss had weaker SEC schedules than Kentucky in 2019.
But if it’s 2020 schedules being factored in, Kentucky may catch a bit of a break since they’re set to play Auburn (9-4 last year) and Ole Miss (4-8). Those 13 wins are five more than the combined win total of Mississippi State and Arkansas from last year.
Who really knows how it will go down. The two teams Kentucky should be hoping to avoid are Alabama and LSU. As far as this program has come, I’m not sure the Cats are ready to take one of them down, especially since that game could be in Lexington with no fans this year.