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2024 SEC football schedule release: The biggest games, toughest schedules and more

Credit: Texas football

On Wednesday, the SEC released its 2024 football schedule.

On the one hand, that doesn't feel like a big deal. On the other, it is for one big reason: It's the first one featuring Texas and Oklahoma.

That's right, a 16-team, LOADED SEC is coming.

Here are five reactions to Wednesday's schedule release.

Texas meets its most hated rivals - both on the road

Texas meets old rivals Texas A&M and Arkansas in their first year in the SEC, and more importantly plays them both on the road. The Longhorns actually just traveled to Fayetteville two seasons ago, in one of the most insane environments in recent memory, while the Longhorns and the Aggies famously haven't played since the Aggies left the Big 12, this after playing every year from 1915 to 2011.

The rivalry survived the Southwest Conference disappearing and into the Big 12. Now, it’s revived, with Texas joining the SEC and the series gets started back with the Longhorns visiting College Station. These two matchups are huge to start back up in college football. Both matchups are great for the sport, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Longhorns react to both games, especially on the road.

Welcome to the SEC Oklahoma:

The Sooners have a brutal SEC schedule in 2024. Alabama visits Norman in a huge matchup, and as importantly have to visit LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn, plus a trip to former Big 12 rival Missouri. Tennessee also visits Norman in Josh Heupel’s homecoming.

The biggest matchups at first glance are Alabama and Tennessee visiting Oklahoma and then also the road games against LSU and Ole Miss. Oklahoma has an extremely difficult schedule and then they also still get Texas every year in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. It will be interesting to see how they can adjust to this schedule because there are no breaks at all.

Josh Heupel comes home:

Current Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is a Sooner icon, but his history with the school is, umm, checkered to say the least. On the one hand, he was the starting quarterback on the Sooners 2001 national championship team, cementing his place as a Sooner legend. Unfortunately, that got complicated when he returned to the school as an assistant coach, and eventual offensive coordinator - where he was fired in 2015 (the term the school used was "his contract was not renewed" = but we all know what that means).

Ironically, Heupel's firing allowed Oklahoma to bring in Lincoln Riley as an offensive coordinator, and eventual head coach - all while Heupel had to built himself back up, first at Utah State, then Missouri, Central Florida and finally now as Tennessee head coach.

On the field, this was already set to be a good one.

But you know Heupel will have some extra fire in his belly on this one.

Georgia vs Alabama is happening:

Georgia is visiting Alabama for the first time since 2020. These two teams have had other matchups in the postseason like in the SEC Championship or in the College Football Playoff, but they haven't matched up often during the regular season, in either Tuscaloosa or Athens.

Of course, these two teams twice played in the 2021 season - leading to Georgia's first national title since 1980 - and have also played some classics in previous SEC title games. Still, this one is in Tuscaloosa, and even a year from now, these will be the two best teams in the SEC. Get your popcorn ready!

Does Georgia have the hardest schedule?

Georgia’s 2023 schedule is considered extremely easy by many people, so the SEC seems to have swung the completely other way with the 2024 schedule. They get rival Auburn, Mississippi State, and Tennessee at home, which are three tough games, especially Tennessee. But they have four pretty tough road games, starting with trips to Alabama and Texas, as well as tough trips to Oxford (Ole Miss) and Lexington (Kentucky). And that's on top of Florida in Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. No one should feel bad for the Dawgs, but that's no easy slate.

Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus


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