Andy Hodges

This year, next week’s games not promised putting schedule together

In a year where everything is different, the television networks will likely try to maximize matchups when they finally kick off Sept. 26.

To be honest, until the news last week Mark Womack in the SEC’s offices was going to be putting together the jigsaw puzzle the league’s football schedule has become I had forgotten about him.

Sorry, Mark, but then again I didn’t think about Greg Sankey much, either, until he was tabbed to replace Mike Slive a few years ago.

Now he’s got to juggle 28 different people offering him all sorts of advice on what additions to the teams’ schedules with more options than anyone could guess.

He’s probably not in a big hurry to get it finalized, either.

“It gives great conversation on afternoon shows for a while, does it not?” Sankey asked on Paul Finebaum’s show last Friday.

In another words, keeping the league where it just means more in the headlines with an interesting conversation point.

Which is why the initial rumors that teams would play the next two crossover teams in their rotation would be the logical choice. It gets really complicated because the league doesn’t like giving one team the appearance of back-to-back home advantages, either.

That’s about as close to being fair to everyone as Womack could possibly get, although Razorbacks athletics director Hunter Yurachek has reminded him the last time they found a game they could win in the league (Ole Miss in 2017).

For Arkansas that would be a road trip to play Georgia and getting South Carolina at home, which probably is about as good as it’s going to get.

Sam Pittman probably wouldn’t admit it, but going back to Athens at least gives him a leg up on planning. He and some of his staff know details of the highly-regarded Bulldogs few others would know.

Of course that doesn’t mean the Hogs still wouldn’t be an overwhelming underdog in that matchup but it is an interesting storyline.

That’s probably going to be the ultimate determining factor in the schedule-making process during all this.

In a year where everything is different, the television networks will likely try to maximize matchups when they finally kick off Sept. 26. Usually they try and put together the biggest games towards the end of the schedule.

In a year unlike any other, nobody can look ahead because next week’s game are not promised to anyone.

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