The SEC has officially announced all opponents for this upcoming 2020 football season. The Georgia Bulldogs filled up their already loaded schedule with two more cross-divisional opponents. The season is set to start on September 26th, although the order of games and bye weeks has not yet been announced. The newly finished Georgia schedule added some new filler-level games with interesting story-lines for the Bulldogs.
Georgia’s schedule that was already set before the season included four road games and four home games. The existing eight games were not going to be an easy road for the Bulldogs. Georgia has three games against opponents ranked in the Coaches Preseason Top 25. One of those games is on the road (at #3 Alabama), one at home (vs #11 Auburn), and one at a neutral site (vs #8 Florida).
Also on the schedule is a road game against Kentucky, which is ranked just four spots outside the Top 25, and a home game against Tennessee, who are sitting just two spots outside of the rankings. Filling out the rest of the eight games are road games against a South Carolina team who upset Georgia in Athens last season and Missouri, as well as a home game against Vanderbilt.
The New Two
Added to Georgia’s schedule were the next two teams in their rotation: Mississippi State and Arkansas. Both games present interesting story lines. As for Mississippi State, Georgia holds an 18-6 record all time against the West division’s Bulldogs. Their last meeting came in 2017 with Georgia winning 31-3. During that game in Athens, a handful of Georgia’s current big name players were there as recruits. This time, they will get to take the field. It will also be the first time Georgia gets to face the unique coaching style of Mike Leach, who took over the job in Starkville this off-season.
As for the second added game, Arkansas last met with the Bulldogs in 2014. Georgia won that game 45-32 in Little Rock. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 10-4. It will also be one of the first games for Sam Pittman as the head coach of Arkansas. Pittman made a reputation for himself during his time as offensive line and associate head coach with Georgia. He was often recognized as one of the top recruiters in the nation. This is Pittman’s first season in Fayetteville as the new head coach.
It will not be an easy road for Georgia at all. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Georgia should be favored to win every game this year except for one. That one of course is the road game against Alabama. But that is not the only tough spot on the schedule. The gap between Alabama and Georgia in the FPI is larger than that between the Bulldogs and both Auburn and Florida.
Divisional rivals Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky will have similarly tough paths while trying to unseat the Bulldogs from atop the East division. Florida will have to go through LSU and Texas A&M, as well as an Ole Miss team that could be somewhat tricky. Kentucky, who has the third best chance of winning the division, has to go through a slightly tougher cross-division schedule. The Wildcats will face Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, and Ole Miss. Tennessee gets dealt Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Arkansas.
The top four teams in the East have a similarly tough road. It could be argued that the Georgia schedule is one of the easier roads. The only team that you could really say has a softer road would be Florida, as they avoid facing the Crimson Tide. The scheduling decisions made by the SEC really set this division up to have an interesting race and give the top teams a basically parallel chance to win a trip to Atlanta.