Kentucky football adds Alabama, Ole Miss to fall schedule

Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa, host the Rebels at Kroger Field

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/ESPN) – Kentucky now knows who it will play in the 2020 football season, adding a home game against Ole Miss and a road game at Alabama, after the Southeastern Conference released each team’s opponents on Friday afternoon.

Kentucky last played Alabama in 2016, when the Cats lost to the Crimson Tide 34-6 in Tuscaloosa. The Cats lost a heartbreaker to Ole Miss in 2017, falling 37-34 at Kroger Field.

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In addition to Ole Miss, UK’s home slate also features Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.  The Wildcats’ road slate now has Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee.

The season will begin on Sept. 26.  The teams will play 10 games in an 11-week span, through December 5. Specific game dates will be determined in the next two weeks.

“The two SEC announcements today – the medical protocols and the addition of two football opponents – help us continue planning for competition this fall,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “Our student-athletes, coaches and staffs are dealing with unique challenges. We appreciate Commissioner (Greg) Sankey, the SEC Office and the SEC Medical Task Force for their dedication and leadership as we take the next steps in this process.”

Information about tickets and additional fan information will be announced at a later date.

The SEC announced each school’s additional two league football games, highlighted by Florida traveling to Texas A&M and Tennessee’s trip to Auburn if the upcoming season is played.

The SEC voted in late July to play a 10-game league schedule this season with no nonconference games. The league plans to publicly announce the dates for all games within the next two weeks as it continues to monitor developments around COVID-19.

The SEC added two games each with a not-yet-defined system in which the league tried to make its 14 teams’ schedules as balanced as possible. Each SEC school normally plays eight league games — all six divisional opponents, a permanent cross-divisional opponent and a rotating cross-divisional opponent.
Defending national champion LSU, which faces Florida annually as its permanent cross-divisional foe, added a home game against Missouri and will also play on the road at Vanderbilt.

Alabama, which was already scheduled to face Georgia this season as its rotating cross-divisional foe, will pick up the home game against Kentucky and a road game at Missouri as its two additional league games. The Crimson Tide will face four of the top 13 teams in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll: No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 11 Auburn and No. 13 Texas A&M.

Georgia, which already was playing Alabama and Auburn from the SEC West, will meet Mississippi State at home and Arkansas on the road. The Bulldogs will play only three SEC teams ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll. Florida’s slate in 2020 will include games against Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M, all ranked in the top 13 of the preseason coaches’ poll.

Tennessee’s two additional league games will come against Texas A&M at home and Auburn on the road, meaning the Vols will play five games against teams ranked in the top 13 of the coaches’ poll.

Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee were the only three teams in the league to each have two teams ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll added to their schedule.

“We already owned the nation’s strongest 2020 football schedule and with these additions to our SEC only schedule, we now own the most challenging schedule in the history of college football,” Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement.

The SEC’s league-only schedule is slated to kick off on Sept. 26, and teams can begin practice on Aug. 17.

Below is a complete list of each school’s two additional games:

  • Alabama: Kentucky at home, Missouri on the road
  • Arkansas: Georgia at home, Florida on the road
  • Auburn: Tennessee at home, South Carolina on the road
  • Florida: Arkansas at home, Texas A&M on the road
  • Georgia: Mississippi State at home, Arkansas on the road
  • Kentucky: Ole Miss at home, Alabama on the road
  • LSU: Missouri at home, Vanderbilt on the road
  • Ole Miss: South Carolina at home, Kentucky on the road
  • Mississippi State: Vanderbilt at home, Georgia on the road
  • Missouri: Alabama at home, LSU on the road
  • South Carolina: Auburn at home, Ole Miss on the road
  • Tennessee: Texas A&M at home, Auburn on the road
  • Texas A&M: Florida at home, Tennessee on the road
  • Vanderbilt: LSU at home: Mississippi State on the road
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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com