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Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey / Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano throws as his offensive line tries to keep the pocket from collapsing against Auburn during an SEC matchup on Oct. 13, 2018. The Vols upset the 21st-ranked Tigers 30-24 that day in Alabama, ending a streak of 11 straight league losses and giving Jeremy Pruitt a big win in his first season as coach. Auburn and Tennessee will meet this season as one of the added matchups for the SEC's 10-game conference-only schedule.

The Southeastern Conference isn't scheduled to kick off its 10-game football season until Sept. 26, but Friday evening certainly provided some winners and losers.

Needing the addition of two extra cross-divisional games for each program to complete the league schedules that have been altered by the coronavirus-related cancellations of nonconference games, the league revealed those selections Friday night on the SEC Network.

"We made every effort to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the existing eight conference games that had already been scheduled for 2020," league commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. "This schedule is a one-year anomaly that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the impact of COVID-19."

Missouri's schedule went from competitive to incredibly competitive, as the league added a home game against Alabama, No. 3 in the Amway coaches preseason poll, and a trip to No. 5 LSU for Eli Drinkwitz's Tigers. Since joining the SEC in 2012, Mizzou is 0-4 against Alabama and LSU by the combined score of 165-40.

Tennessee had a pair of preseason top-15 teams added to its schedule, with the Volunteers getting a home date with No. 13 Texas A&M and a journey to No. 11 Auburn. The Vols and Aggies have met three times but never inside Neyland Stadium, but Tennessee has a lot of tradition with Auburn, an annual rival from 1956 to 1991.

Auburn had won six straight series meetings against the Vols until Tennessee pulled a 30-24 upset at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2018.

"Let's gooooo!!!" Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt posted on Twitter after learning of the additions.

Alabama and Georgia, which is No. 4 in the preseason poll, received much more favorable draws from the league office. Nick Saban's Crimson Tide landed a home game against Kentucky in addition to the trip to Missouri, while Kirby Smart's Bulldogs added a home game against Mississippi State and a trek to Arkansas, which has lost 19 consecutive conference games.

The additions of Georgia and Florida to the Arkansas slate resulted in Razorbacks athletic director Hunter Yurachek claiming, "We now have the most challenging schedule in the history of college football."

The SEC plans to announce the dates for all contests within the next two weeks.

Earlier Friday, the SEC revealed its initial guidelines to manage COVID-19 for its 10-game season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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Alabama photo by Kent Gidley / Alabama football coach Nick Saban poses with the Crimson Tide's elephant mascot, Big Al, on May 20 on campus in Tuscaloosa, with both wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

EAST VS. WEST

The cross-divisional pairings for each SEC member for the upcoming 10-game season:

ALABAMA

Previously scheduled: vs. Georgia, at Tennessee

Added opponents: vs. Kentucky, at Missouri

ARKANSAS

Previously scheduled: vs. Tennessee, at Missouri

Added opponents: vs. Georgia, at Florida

AUBURN

Previously scheduled: vs. Kentucky, at Georgia

Added opponents: vs. Tennessee, at South Carolina

FLORIDA

Previously scheduled: vs. LSU, at Ole Miss

Added opponents: vs. Arkansas, at Texas A&M

GEORGIA

Previously scheduled: vs. Auburn, at Alabama

Added opponents: vs. Mississippi State, at Arkansas

KENTUCKY

Previously scheduled: vs. Mississippi State, at Auburn

Added opponents: vs. Ole Miss, at Alabama

LSU

Previously scheduled: vs. South Carolina, at Florida

Added opponents: vs. Missouri, at Vanderbilt

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Previously scheduled: vs. Missouri, at Kentucky

Added opponents: vs. Vanderbilt, at Georgia

MISSOURI

Previously scheduled: vs. Arkansas, at Mississippi State

Added opponents: vs. Alabama, at LSU

OLE MISS

Previously scheduled: vs. Florida, at Vanderbilt

Added opponents: vs. South Carolina, at Kentucky

SOUTH CAROLINA

Previously scheduled: vs. Texas A&M, at LSU

Added opponents: vs. Auburn, at Ole Miss

TENNESSEE

Previously scheduled: vs. Alabama, at Arkansas

Added opponents: vs. Texas A&M, at Auburn

TEXAS A&M

Previously scheduled: vs. Vanderbilt, at South Carolina

Added opponents: vs. Florida, at Tennessee

VANDERBILT

Previously scheduled: vs. Ole Miss, at Texas A&M

Added opponents: vs. LSU, at Mississippi State

 

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