Ole Miss football will see its landmine-laden road to a conference championship in 20/20 as the SEC releases the official team schedules tomorrow. Each team’s first opponent will be announced at 2:00 p.m. CDT, with the entire schedule being laid out at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Monday evening.
The Rebels, who are being led into the new and unique 2020 season by first-year head coach Lane Kiffin, were already set to face one of the nations’s most grueling gauntlets prior to the SEC’s announcement of a 10-game, conference-only schedule. Now, the road to six wins gets even more difficult for Ole Miss with the addition of Kentucky and South Carolina.
Rumors have been circling regarding who may grace the timeline when, and whispers of a week one Egg Bowl have emerged from the dark caverns of Starkville, but nothing is set in stone as of now. By the time your head hits the pillow on Monday night, that uncertainty will be no more, and you may dream confidently of Gamecocks, Tigers and Bulldogs (oh my!).
While the schedule may seem insignificant beyond filling a calendar, it could make or break the Rebels’ season. The NCAA has granted each FBS program two wins over FCS schools to count toward bowl eligibility, and the path to a bowl game will be difficult to begin with, but the schedule could make it even more daunting.
For example, if Ole Miss is forced to play Alabama, LSU and Florida in consecutive weeks, it would be a punishing road of bruises and battery that hinders performance against “must wins” like Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Should the Rebels be granted a week of relief after facing the Tide before taking on the Commodores, the Tigers from the Plains, or the Wildcats, it may be more manageable to stay healthy and fully charged. A firm schedule also allows coaches to prepare with specifics in mind.
Dates on a page are a big deal and tomorrow will provide certainty. Stay tuned to The Cup for the announcement, reactions and matchup breakdowns!