Dooley: SEC East race may be decided early

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports

We still don't know what is going to happen or whether or not the games will be played. One day, we might sit back and wonder what would have happened had the SEC played its 10-game schedule.

It's out, now, the schedule that the conference hopes will be played. 

The reveal started with Florida finding out it will play at Ole Miss in the opener Sept. 26. The Gators without the atmosphere of the Grove going up against a coach in his first season? That's a good thing. The likelihood that Lane Kiffin will play like Ole Miss has nothing to lose, might not be so good.

But would you rather get the Rebels to start the season or later after the offense becomes more in tune to Kiffin's play calls and how the offense works?

From there it was a four-hour wait for the rest of it. Some key points:

• The SEC East may be decided early. Like by Week 4. The Gators have to go to Texas A&M and then face LSU the following week. Georgia has Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama in the second-through-fourth weeks.

• The Florida-Georgia game was moved from its traditional Halloween weekend. Instead, the Gators will play the Bulldogs the following week on Nov. 7.

• Florida is still home for my birthday on Nov. 14 against Arkansas, which is also the Saturday of the Masters. Alabama and LSU also play that day. For this, I thank you.

• It feels strange to see that Alabama and Auburn will not play their final season games against each other. Of course, it's already a strange 2020.

• Remember how Jeremy Foley many years ago pushed to get Florida-Kentucky earlier in the year to get away from the cold? Well, they are playing Nov. 28. But at least it's in Gainesville.

• Florida finishes the season with three games against the East and the final game is against Tennessee. The last time the Gators played the Vols to end the season was when the game got moved because of 9/11. It was a loss that ruined what was a great Florida season.

Overall, it's a schedule that seems odd in some ways, but I know how difficult it is to do a schedule for the second time. 

— Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at