The SEC announced a new fall football schedule, eliminating all non-conference game and starting a 10-game season on Sept. 26th. Each team will have one bye week and then the SEC will have a conference wide bye week Dec. 12, the week between the regular season finale and SEC Championship.
"This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the education goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of the student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by this COVID-19 virus," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a press release. "This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure health of our campus communities."
The conference hasn't announced which game will be added to each teams schedule, but speculation is that you would add your next two SEC west rotation games. Meaning Tennessee would host Ole Miss and play at LSU.
Tennessee loses matchups with Charlotte, Oklahoma, Furman and Troy with the shortened season.
The SEC's statement went on to say that the elimination of non-conference games provided a necessary flexibility for the league to complete the whole season.
"We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the flexibility to adjusts schedule as necessary if disruptions occur," Sankey said. "It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures."
Tennessee director of athletics Phillip Fulmer released a statement supporting the SEC's decision.
"A tremendous amount of thought and discussion went into making what we believe is a responsible decision on scheduling format, and it's exciting to make progress towards a decision," Fulmer said. "Our student athletes and coaches are working hard to prepare while prioritizing health and safety."
Fulmer also went on to discuss the unknowns still around stadium capacity and Olympic sports this fall.
"Our next important reference point is a decision on the capacity of Neyland Stadium," Fulmer said. "We plan to coordinate with state and local officials on gameday attendance, understanding that potential limitations could change from week to week once the season begins. This underscores the importance of the public practicing healthy habits statewide."
"The conversations remain on going at the NCAA and conference level regarding fall plans for Olympic sports."
If Tennessee's schedule order were to remain the same Tennessee would open with Florida week one and a spot for the SEC to add a game week two.