On Friday, the Southeastern Conference unveiled its new conference-only schedule, in which each of the 14 teams added two opponents.
While the main headliners of this announcement were the newly scheduled games between Tennessee and Auburn, and Florida and Texas A&M, Ole Miss picked up games against the South Carolina Gamecocks at home and the Kentucky Wildcats on the road.
While the uncertainty of how college football will be played this fall continues, one thing is certain: Ole Miss could have ended up worse for wear if the scheduling of additional games had gone differently.
Although the Rebels were able to avoid facing a Top-25 opponent in Georgia, ranked No. 4 according to the SEC Preseason Amway Coaches Poll, this does not mean that the team’s schedule is any easier. Already starting off with a strong schedule, with the Rebels having to play five schools all ranked in the Top 25 of the Preseason Amway Coaches poll: Alabama No. 3, LSU No. 5, Florida No. 8, Auburn No. 11, and Texas A&M No. 13. Kiffin got a tough draw in his first season and now should be hoping to finish 5-5 with the loss of his non-conference opponents.
“It’s exciting to see our league take another step toward finalizing the schedule, and I’m grateful that our players and fans will have the opportunity to experience these additional matchups with South Carolina and Kentucky along with our other eight opponents,” head coach Lane Kiffin said in a press release. “As planning continues toward a 2020 season, we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of all those involved at the forefront of our discussions.”
In the past, the Rebels have done well against Kentucky. The last time the two teams met was in 2017 at Lexington where the Rebels won in a nail-biting fashion, 37-34.
As for the Gamecocks, the Rebels have a series edge since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992. However, the Rebels have dropped the last three meetings to the Gamecocks, most recently in 2018.
With an already loaded schedule, the Rebels schedule additions appear to be two fair opponents.