After much uncertainty, the 2020 College Football season will kick off with some limitations. On August 17th, the SEC was the last Power Five conference to release the fall schedules of their teams. Like the other teams in the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be playing their fall with a 10 game conference only schedule. As the conference was establishing its conference-only schedule, each team needed two more cross-divisional matchups.
Regular-season matchups for each SEC team will begin on September 26th. This is for the conference to continue their battle against the Coronavirus to potentially contain the spread. The regular season will conclude on December 8th, which was the original date for the SEC Championship. The Crimson Tide will play a bizarre but durable schedule this season.
Alabama adds Missouri and Kentucky; avoids Florida
There was much talk by SEC experts and schedule predictions that one of the additional matchups for the Crimson Tide would be against the Florida Gators. This was because the sport would benefit from a matchup of elite SEC opponents. The last time the Gators and Tide faced each other in the regular season was in 2014. Instead, the Tide were scheduled to face the Missouri Tigers in week one of the season on September 26th. They will play at home against the Kentucky Wildcats on November 21st.
The Crimson Tide were lucky to be slated to play against the Tigers, who are in a rebuilding season with a new head coach and the Wildcats. Alabama is currently on a four-game win streak versus the Tigers. The Tide last defeated the Tigers with a 39-10 score in Tuscaloosa on October 13th, 2018. Alabama is currently on a six-game win streak versus the Wildcats. The Tide last defeated the Wildcats with a 34-6 score in Tuscaloosa on October 1st, 2016. Kentucky has only beaten the Crimson Tide twice in the entire 40-game span with the last victory coming in 1997.
Saban will face off against four former assistants in four weeks
The Crimson Tide will have an interesting and personal set of matchups after week one against Missouri. Alabama will play against four consecutive teams led by head coaches who were former Nick Saban assistants. Saban is 19-0 when he is facing his former assistants as head coaches. The Tide will host their first home game of the season against the Texas A&M Aggies, led by head coach Jimbo Fisher. Saban was the head coach of the LSU Tigers from 2000 to 2004 where Fisher was his offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for those five seasons. The following week, the Tide will travel to take on the Ole Miss Rebels, led by Lane Kiffin, a former offensive coordinator for Alabama from 2016-2018. Kiffin is looking to make his season debut with a huge win over Saban and the Tide as he makes this game personal.
Week four of the season will be one of the biggest games in the nation as the Tide will host the Georgia Bulldogs, led by head coach Kirby Smart. He was the defensive coordinator for the Tide from 2008 to 2015 where he created an elite defense every year. This will be the first regular-season matchup between coach Saban and coach Smart as head coaches. The Tide defeated the Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoffs National Championship game and the 2018 SEC Championship. Finally, the Tide will travel to face the Tennessee Volunteers, led by third-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt. He was the defensive coordinator for the Tide for two seasons (2016 & 2017).
Road games and final weeks of the season
The Crimson Tide are lucky to not to have to play back-to-back road games during the season. Alabama will have tough road matchups against Ole Miss, Tennessee, and LSU throughout the season. After their road trip to Baton Rouge, they will have two consecutive home matchups against Kentucky and Auburn. The Tide will play their final regular-season game at the Arkansas Razorbacks on December 5th. The last time the Tide and the Tigers were not played in the regular season was in 2001. That game against LSU was postponed to December 1st due to the attacks on 9/11.