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The coronavirus pandemic forced the Southeastern Conference to alter its 2020 football schedules, with every team given a 10-game slate consisting solely of league opposition.

There was both normalcy and guarded optimism Wednesday afternoon as the SEC released its 2021 schedules. The SEC was able to play 68 of 70 regular-season contests this past season, with only the Georgia-Vanderbilt and Ole Miss-Texas A&M matchups unable to take place due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Alabama's win over Florida in the SEC title game on Dec. 19 had to be accompanied by three regular-season finales to make up for postponements.

"We are proud to have completed the 2020 football season under unique circumstances and will now focus on playing the 2021 football season as scheduled," league commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. "Circumstances around the COVID-19 virus will continue to guide our decision-making should any adjustments need to be made."

With nonconference showdowns returning to the league lineup later this year, each SEC team will play 12 games over 13 weekends, thus getting just one open date.

The opening Saturday of the season will be Sept. 4, and it will contain instant games of interest such as Georgia-Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Alabama-Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Intriguing matchups set for Sept. 11 include Texas at Arkansas, Pittsburgh at Tennessee, and Colorado versus Texas A&M in Denver, while Auburn's trip to Penn State and Alabama's league opener at Florida headline the Sept. 18 lineup.

Last year's league-only schedule eliminated in-state rivalries such as Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Kentucky-Louisville, but all three of those return this season and will transpire the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

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

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Georgia photo by Perry McIntyre / Georgia and Georgia Tech are scheduled to play in 2021 after last season's matchup had to be scratched due to the coronavirus. This year's game will be held in Atlanta, which was the site of their most recent meeting in 2019.

2021 SEC FOOTBALL SCHEDULES

ALABAMA

Sept. 4 vs. Miami (Atlanta)

Sept. 11 MERCER

Sept. 18 at Florida

Sept. 25 SOUTHERN MISS

Oct. 2 OLE MISS

Oct. 9 at Texas A&M

Oct. 16 at Mississippi State

Oct. 23 TENNESSEE

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 LSU

Nov. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE

Nov. 20 ARKANSAS

Nov. 27 at Auburn

 

ARKANSAS

Sept. 4 RICE

Sept. 11 TEXAS

Sept. 18 GEORGIA SOUTHERN

Sept. 25 vs. TEXAS A&M (Arlington)

Oct. 2 at Georgia

Oct. 9 at Ole Miss

Oct. 16 AUBURN

Oct. 23 UAPB

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 MISSISSIPPI STATE

Nov. 13 at LSU

Nov. 20 at Alabama

Nov. 27 MISSOURI (Little Rock)

 

AUBURN

Sept. 4 AKRON

Sept. 11 ALABAMA STATE

Sept. 18 at Penn State

Sept. 25 GEORGIA STATE

Oct. 2 at LSU

Oct. 9 GEORGIA

Oct. 16 at Arkansas

Oct. 23 Open Date

Oct. 30 OLE MISS

Nov. 6 at Texas A&M

Nov. 13 MISSISSIPPI STATE

Nov. 20 at South Carolina

Nov. 27 ALABAMA

 

FLORIDA

Sept. 4 FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Sept. 11 at South Florida

Sept. 18 ALABAMA

Sept. 25 TENNESSEE

Oct. 2 at Kentucky

Oct. 9 VANDERBILT

Oct. 16 at LSU

Oct. 23 Open Date

Oct. 30 vs. GEORGIA (Jacksonville)

Nov. 6 at South Carolina

Nov. 13 SAMFORD

Nov. 20 at Missouri

Nov. 27 FLORIDA STATE

 

GEORGIA

Sept. 4 vs. Clemson (Charlotte)

Sept. 11 UAB

Sept. 18 SOUTH CAROLINA

Sept. 25 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 2 ARKANSAS

Oct. 9 at Auburn

Oct. 16 KENTUCKY

Oct. 23 Open Date

Oct. 30 vs. Florida (Jacksonville)

Nov. 6 MISSOURI

Nov. 13 at Tennessee

Nov. 20 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

Nov. 27 at Georgia Tech

 

KENTUCKY

Sept. 4 ULM

Sept. 11 MISSOURI

Sept. 18 UTC

Sept. 25 at South Carolina

Oct. 2 FLORIDA

Oct. 9 LSU

Oct. 16 at Georgia

Oct. 23 Open Date

Oct. 30 at Mississippi State

Nov. 6 TENNESSEE

Nov. 13 at Vanderbilt

Nov. 20 NEW MEXICO STATE

Nov. 27 at Louisville

 

LSU

Sept. 4 at UCLA

Sept. 11 McNEESE STATE

Sept. 18 CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Sept. 25 at Mississippi State

Oct. 2 AUBURN

Oct. 9 at Kentucky

Oct. 16 FLORIDA

Oct. 23 at Ole Miss

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 at Alabama

Nov. 13 ARKANSAS

Nov. 20 ULM

Nov. 27 TEXAS A&M

 

OLE MISS

Sept. 6 vs. Louisville (Atlanta)

Sept. 11 AUSTIN PEAY

Sept. 18 TULANE

Sept. 25 Open Date

Oct. 2 at Alabama

Oct. 9 ARKANSAS

Oct. 16 at Tennessee

Oct. 23 LSU

Oct. 30 at Auburn

Nov. 6 LIBERTY

Nov. 13 TEXAS A&M

Nov. 20 VANDERBILT

Nov. 27 at Mississippi State

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Sept. 4 LOUISIANA TECH

Sept. 11 NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Sept. 18 at Memphis

Sept. 25 LSU

Oct. 2 at Texas A&M

Oct. 9 Open Date

Oct. 16 ALABAMA

Oct. 23 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 30 KENTUCKY

Nov. 6 at Arkansas

Nov. 13 at Auburn

Nov. 20 TENNESSEE STATE

Nov. 27 OLE MISS

 

MISSOURI

Sept. 4 CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Sept. 11 at Kentucky

Sept. 18 SE MISSOURI STATE

Sept. 25 at Boston College

Oct. 2 TENNESSEE

Oct. 9 NORTH TEXAS

Oct. 16 TEXAS A&M

Oct. 23 Open Date

Oct. 30 at Vanderbilt

Nov. 6 at Georgia

Nov. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA

Nov. 20 FLORIDA

Nov. 27 at Arkansas (Little Rock)

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Sept. 4 EASTERN ILLINOIS

Sept. 11 at East Carolina

Sept. 18 at Georgia

Sept. 25 KENTUCKY

Oct. 2 TROY

Oct. 9 at Tennessee

Oct. 16 VANDERBILT

Oct. 23 at Texas A&M

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 FLORIDA

Nov. 13 at Missouri

Nov. 20 AUBURN

Nov. 27 CLEMSON

 

TENNESSEE

Sept. 4 BOWLING GREEN

Sept. 11 PITTSBURGH

Sept. 18 TENNESSEE TECH

Sept. 25 at Florida

Oct. 2 at Missouri

Oct. 9 SOUTH CAROLINA

Oct. 16 OLE MISS

Oct. 23 at Alabama

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 at Kentucky

Nov. 13 GEORGIA

Nov. 20 SOUTH ALABAMA

Nov. 27 VANDERBILT

 

TEXAS A&M

Sept. 4 KENT STATE

Sept. 11 vs. Colorado (Denver)

Sept. 18 NEW MEXICO

Sept. 25 vs. Arkansas (Arlington)

Oct. 2 MISSISSIPPI STATE

Oct. 9 ALABAMA

Oct. 16 at Missouri

Oct. 23 SOUTH CAROLINA

Oct. 30 Open Date

Nov. 6 AUBURN

Nov. 13 at Ole Miss

Nov. 20 PRAIRIE VIEW

Nov. 27 at LSU

 

VANDERBILT

Sept. 4 EAST TENNESSEE STATE

Sept. 11 at Colorado State

Sept. 18 STANFORD

Sept. 25 GEORGIA

Oct. 2 UCONN

Oct. 9 at Florida

Oct. 16 at South Carolina

Oct. 23 MISSISSIPPI STATE

Oct. 30 MISSOURI

Nov. 6 Open Date

Nov. 13 KENTUCKY

Nov. 20 at Ole Miss

Nov. 27 at Tennessee

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