SEC Coaches Contentious Conference Call
The SEC football coaches held a conference call on Thursday to discuss the upcoming season and what it will look like. According to Chris Low and Alex Scarborough of ESPN that call became very contentious between the coaches when the subject of how the additional opponents were added to the schedule.
Each team had two teams from the opposite division added to its schedule after the SEC decided it would play a conference-only schedule this fall. Last week the SEC announced who those new opponents would be for each school.
- Alabama: vs. Kentucky, @ Missouri
- Arkansas: vs. Georgia, @ Florida
- Auburn: vs. Tennessee, @ South Carolina
- Florida: vs. Arkansas, @ Texas A&M
- Georgia: vs. Mississippi State, @ Arkansas
- Kentucky: vs. Ole Miss, @ Alabama
- LSU: vs. Missouri, @ Vanderbilt
- Ole Miss: vs. South Carolina, @ Kentucky
- Mississippi State: vs. Vanderbilt, @ Georgia
- Missouri: vs. Alabama, @ LSU
- South Carolina: vs. Auburn, @ Ole Miss
- Tennessee: vs. Texas A&M, @ Auburn
- Texas A&M: vs. Florida, @ Tennessee
- Vanderbilt: vs. LSU, @ Mississippi State
Many expected the SEC would add the opponents that were already on the 2021 and 2022 schedule but that was not the case. ESPN reported that the conference chose not to follow this model because some teams would potentially be playing against each other in back-to-back seasons. No explanation was offered by the conference as to how the two teams were chosen.
"They told us they were trying to balance the totality of the schedule, but what was already on our schedules shouldn't have mattered. That was a given. That's got nothing to do with anything," a coach told ESPN. "Again, they weren't giving us a lot of answers, so this is what they get."
One coach reportedly claimed that favoritism was played in selecting the new opponents for 2020. The argument can certainly be made for that as playoff contenders Alabama, LSU and Georgia received favorable matchups, between the three schools are four matchups against coaches in their first year with their programs.
The conference said they would have no response to the tense nature of the call or as to the method of choosing the new opponents.