The two add-on SEC opponents for Alabama football were released Friday.
Alabama football will play Missouri and Kentucky in the 10-game, 2020, SEC football season. The conference announced the matchups late Friday afternoon.
Alabama football fans wanted more – as in a complete schedule of when games will be played. Those details are expected in the next few days. The long delay is releasing a final schedule suggests a complete re-shuffling of games. With the SEC beginning the season on Sept. 26, the first Crimson Tide game will probably be a team other than Georgia.
The Alabama Crimson Tide schedule now includes Kentucky at home and Missouri on the road. The Alabama football schedule was tough before and could have been made even tougher if an often rumored game at Florida had been added. Based on ranking in the Preseason Coaches Poll, the Tide will take on four or five of the nation’s top 15 teams. No other team in college football can match the challenge of the Crimson Tide 2020 schedule.
By comparison, Clemson, Notre Dame and others have little more than JV schedules.
On Thursday, the SEC released a detailed COVID response plan for all sports. As defined by the document, the ‘high-risk’ sports are basketball, football, soccer and volleyball. Athletes are to be tested twice per week, in-season. A further ‘high-risk’ definition is anyone within six feet of a positive-test player for more than 15 minutes.
Depending on virus symptoms, testing or contact, players will be placed in quarantine for 10 days, 14 days, or longer if symptomatic. All staff, including coaches, are required to wear masks and to the extent possible, adhere to distancing restrictions.
The complete document published by the SEC is available here.
No one can rightfully argue the challenge to be faced by the Crimson Tide. A brutal schedule must be overcome in a virus environment when some players and coaches are quarantined for days and even weeks. Roster depth will be a 2020 factor, like never before. A shortage of talent for key games would be worsened if any top Crimson Tide players choose to sit-out the season.
With no game against the Gators in The Swamp, conspiracy theories will gain little traction. Added opponents led to tougher schedules for more than a few SEC teams.