Open dates are important for football teams, so important that they are arranged through the league office at the best of times.
They are an opportunity to rest, get players healthy and work on fundamentals.
Mostly, they are a chance for recruiting for the coaches and a chance to breathe for the players.
Here are the five best open dates in the SEC this season:
1 and 2. Florida and Georgia, Week 8: This is an annual occurrence these days as both teams get a week off before the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.
- Auburn, Week 9: The Tigers will be coming off three straight SEC games, two of them on the road, and get a rest before facing Texas A&M and Georgia the next two weeks.
- South Carolina, Week 8: After four straight SEC games, the Gamecocks get a week off before three more in the conference.
- Mississippi State, Week 7: After two straight emotional home games against Florida and Auburn, the Bulldogs get a chance to regroup before traveling to LSU.