Predicting the 7 SEC teams that will lose season-opener in 2020
Minutes ago, the SEC revealed its Week 1 slate. The full SEC-only 2020 schedule will be released at 7 p.m. Monday.
Earlier this offseason, when we thought nonconference games were part of the mix, we explored the season-opening streaks that were potentially at stake. Alabama has won 18 consecutive season-openers, 2nd-longest in the country behind Ohio State.
(Among SEC teams, Georgia has the next-longest active streak. The Dawgs have won 6 consecutive openers. Arkansas has won 5 consecutive openers. Auburn, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State have won 3 consecutive openers. Florida and Texas A&M have won 2. Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt lost their opening game last year.)
Now that we know the SEC’s Week 1 lineup, we know there will be 7 winners and 7 losers. Will any of those streaks be broken? Yes.
Let’s predict which teams start 0-1.
Alabama at Missouri: Loser will be … Missouri
Um, maybe next time Mizzou fans won’t voice their frustration so vehemently when the SEC decides something? You just knew the Tigers were going to draw Alabama or LSU, the 2 opponents added to the schedule.
At any rate, Alabama will extend its winning streak to 19 consecutive season-openers.
Mizzou lost its opener last year. The last time Mizzou lost 2 consecutive season-openers was 1984 and 1985.
Florida at Ole Miss: Loser will be … Ole Miss
I’m so tempted to call this the Week 1 upset of the year. That would be the best story. Lane Kiffin shocking the Gators in his return to the SEC. Are you kidding me?
Either way, this won’t be easy. John Rhys Plumlee is impossible to plan for and that was before Kiffin arrived. The Rebels have enough athletes on offense to make this the game to watch in Week 1. Can they stop the Gators? That’s an entirely different discussion and ultimately the difference in Kiffin’s debut as the Rebels’ coach.
Georgia at Arkansas: Loser will be … Arkansas
I think the lesson is, next time the SEC makes a scheduling decision, complain to a friend, not to Twitter.
Arkansas and Mizzou were hosed by the 2 new SEC opponents. Everybody knew it. Rather than accept it and move on, both fan bases whined a bit too much.
By accident or conspiracy theory, both drew the most impossible Week 1 matchup imaginable.
The odd part is Arkansas actually has the 3rd-longest active winning streak in openers among SEC teams.
Kentucky at Auburn: Loser will be … Auburn
The SEC East is rising and what better way to announce that than with a stunning upset in Week 1, on the road.
Mark Stoops’ defense will cause Bo Nix all kinds of fits and Gus Malzahn will be back on the hottest seat in the SEC.
Mississippi State at LSU: Loser will be … Mississippi State
Welcome (back) to the SEC, Mike Leach.
Even though both teams have capable-to-standout running backs, this game might take 5 hours and set records for passing attempts.
Joe Burrow would have thrown for 800 yards. Myles Brennan might make it to 400.
Tennessee at South Carolina: Loser will be … South Carolina
Is Tennessee really on its way back?
I think so, but I don’t want to hear another word about it if they stumble out of the gate against the Gamecocks.
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M: Loser will be … Vanderbilt
Vandy typically doesn’t open against a Power 5 team and when it does, it typically doesn’t go well.
The Dores are 0-5 in such openers since beating Wake Forest in 2005.
Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher will win the opener for the 3rd consecutive season.