Alabama Football: 2020 schedule brings new, late season challenge

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Alabama football 2020 regular season will be both different and more challenging and most of the blame goes to the Auburn Tigers.

The SEC office released the 2020 regular season schedules on Wednesday. Alabama football received a tougher schedule than the last couple of seasons. Overall that is a good change. It is also consistent with Nick Saban wanting to play a demanding schedule.

Nick’s ideas have not been adopted by the SEC or the rest of college football. He wants a 9-game SEC schedule and Power Five teams only playing other Power Five teams.

But due to the SEC rotation of teams and the league’s pretty significant tweaking of the schedule, the Crimson Tide will have more challenge in 2020.

The changes made by the SEC are largely a response to Auburn’s perpetual whining and a desire to remove later November cupcakes from the league schedule.

Auburn’s petulant demand has been for a schedule that would not send it to Athens and Tuscaloosa in the same November. The Tigers got what they wanted – kind of. They will now play Georgia in October. In return, they get LSU on the Plains the week before the Iron Bowl.

The spinoff to the Alabama Crimson Tide is also getting a tough SEC opponent the week before the Iron Bowl. For the Tide in 2020, that opponent will be Texas A&M. The Aubies will also argue having the tougher out-of-conference (OOC) schedule.

Auburn has Alcorn State (FCS), North Carolina, Southern Miss and U Mass. The Crimson Tide has Southern Cal, Georgia State, Kent State and UT-Martin (FCS). Arguably Auburn’s OOC schedule is somewhat tougher than the Crimson Tide.

Along the Crimson Tide OOC, shown above, Alabama football has Georgia at home in the third week of the season. The other SEC home games for the Tide will be Mississippi State on Oct. 17 and the November close of TAMU and Auburn.

The road SEC games for the Crimson Tide are at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU. The game with the Vols will the fourth Saturday in October, rather than the third. Some Alabama football fans will begrudge any game with the Viles not being on the third Saturday.

There will be only one bye week in the 2020, 13-week regular season. The Alabama Crimson Tide will open with USC on Sept. 5, in Arlington, TX. The Tide’s bye comes between the road games of Tennessee and LSU.

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Nick Saban was very clear about scheduling during comments to the media on Wednesday. To paraphrase, Nick said the Crimson Tide’s schedule is not driven by who it wants to play, but who will agree to a game.