What an All-SEC Football Schedule may look like for Kentucky in 2020 – kentuckysportsradio.com


Thursday afternoon the Big 10 became the first Power Five conference to announce that its member schools will exclusively play football games against conference foes in the 2020-21 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The consequences of this decision are far-reaching across all levels of college sports, but for now, let’s simply take a look at what it could mean for the Kentucky Wildcats if the SEC follows the Big 10’s lead.

UK’s 2020 Football Schedule w/Nonconference

Sept. 3: vs. Eastern Michigan (Lexington, Ky.)

Sept. 12: at Florida Gators (Gainesville, Fla.)

Sept. 19: vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (Lexington, Ky.)

Sept. 26: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (Lexington, Ky.)

Oct. 3: at Auburn Tigers (Auburn, Ala.)

Oct. 10: vs. Eastern Illinois Panthers (Lexington, Ky.)

Oct. 17: vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (Lexington, Ky.)

Oct. 24: at Missouri Tigers (Columbia, Mo.)

Oct. 31: BYE

Nov. 7: at Tennessee Volunteers (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Nov. 14: vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Lexington, Ky.)

Nov. 21: vs. Georgia Bulldogs (Lexington, Ky.)

Nov. 28: at Louisville Cardinals (Louisville, Ky.)

If the SEC eliminates nonconference football games, the Governor’s Cup will be canceled, effectively wiping out a chance to throw L’s Down at Don’t-Call-Me-Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. To replace the four nonconference game, Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said league officials have discussed adding more conference games. The top candidates to be added to Kentucky’s schedule are Ole Miss and (gulp) Alabama.

Player safety is the motivation behind restricting the schedule exclusively to conference opponents, making proximity a top priority when additional opponents. Oxford and Tuscaloosa are each around 460 miles from Lexington, the closest of any SEC West campuses. Since the SEC established the 12-year non-division rotation in 2014, Kentucky has played each school only once (both losses). Considering the elimination of nonconference opponents and bye weeks, all three teams could add one another to their schedules without altering the pre-existing schedule.

Kentucky’s 2020 Football All-SEC Schedule

Sept. 3: at Ole Miss Rebels (Oxford, Ms.)

Sept. 12: at Florida Gators (Gainesville, Fla.)

Sept. 19: BYE

Sept. 26: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (Lexington, Ky.)

Oct. 3: at Auburn Tigers (Auburn, Ala.)

Oct. 10: BYE

Oct. 17: vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (Lexington, Ky.)

Oct. 24: at Missouri Tigers (Columbia, Mo.)

Oct. 31: vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (Lexington, Ky.)

Nov. 7: at Tennessee Volunteers (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Nov. 14: vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Lexington, Ky.)

Nov. 21: vs. Georgia Bulldogs (Lexington, Ky.)

Nov. 28: BYE

Specific details on how the Big 10’s schedule will work are still unknown. It’s likely that only ten games will be played with multiple byes, giving programs wiggle room to reschedule games if a team is sidelined by a coronavirus outbreak for a week or two.

Obviously, this is all speculation. Peter Burns reported this afternoon that the league still plans to play nonconference games. The SEC may completely scrap the initial 2020 schedules and start from scratch, but if Kentucky must limit itself to playing league opponents in 2020, Mark Stoops has never had a depth chart better equipped to handle the heavy workload.


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