How moving the Auburn-Georgia rivalry to October changes the SEC East race
Auburn’s push to move the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry game from November to October changes the SEC East drastically, notes former Georgia standout and SEC Network analyst Matt Stinchcomb.
The SEC released the 2020 football schedule Wednesday, and the biggest change was the Auburn-Georgia rivalry game now moves to October 10. It will be the first time the rivalry will be played outside of November since 1937.
With the change, it’s actually better for interest in the SEC East. Historically, the Florida-Tennessee game usually decided the SEC East. With Georgia being a perennial power, the Georgia-Florida game is also a huge catalyst for the division race. After those two games, one would have a strong idea of which team will make it to Atlanta.
After the change, the Bulldogs’ schedule is now backloaded with division teams, and it will certainly make the Eastern Division more interesting in November.
“To move the Auburn-Georgia game — the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, to bump that up into October had all the kind of collateral effects on the schedule,” Stinchcomb said on the SEC Network. “What it does to Georgia’s schedule is it pushes all those SEC East division games later in the year. So, now, that SEC East division race is going to be very much up in the air in the second half of the season, whereas in previous years, you’re coming out of the Georgia-Florida game thinking you have a pretty good idea of who the division winner is going to be. Not so in 2020.”
Here’s Georgia’s new-look schedule for 2020, with four straight games against SEC East teams from Week 9 through 12:
Week 1: Virginia (Atlanta)
Week 2: East Tennessee State
Week 3: @ Alabama
Week 4; UL-Monroe
Week 5: Vanderbilt
Week 6: Auburn
Week 7: @ Missouri
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Florida
Week 10: @ South Carolina
Week 11: Tennessee
Week 12: @ Kentucky
Week 13: Georgia Tech
While Auburn lobbied to change the game from November to October, LSU replaced Georgia on the Tigers schedule. Auburn got what it wanted, but it was handed something in return it probably isn’t too happy about.