The SEC released its 2013 football schedule on Thursday, and Auburn's conference slate features a couple of interesting games of note:
Sept. 14 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 21 at LSU
Oct. 5 OLE MISS
Oct. 19 at Texas A&M
Nov. 2 at Arkansas
Nov. 9 at Tennessee
Nov. 16 GEORGIA
Nov. 30 ALABAMA
First of all, Vanderbilt falls off the schedule and is replaced by an away game at Tennessee. The Tigers last played the Volunteers in 2009, a 26-22 win at Neyland Stadium. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the schedule is the date against Georgia. For the second consecutive year, the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry will be played in Auburn.
For Auburn fans that have been accustomed to great home slates in even years and awful home games in odd years, this evens things out a bit. The future schedules will be visited against by the SEC before the 2014 season, but barring any changes, Auburn's even-year schedule will feature home games against LSU, Texas A&M and Arkansas, while the odd-year schedule will feature home games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. From now on, Auburn's biggest rivalry games will either both be at home or on the road in the same season. The 2013 schedule will mark the first time ever that Auburn plays Alabama and Georgia at Jordan-Hare Stadium in the same season.
The biggest conference issue the was expected to be addressed -- permanent cross-division opponents -- was not. The 2013 schedule is a "bridge schedule," and the conference will make a decision on permanent cross-division opponents when addressing the future schedules before the 2014 season:
"That was part of the ‘bridge' schedule and really part of trying to have either a conference game or a non-conference traditional rival game on the last week of the season that created some issues for us. It created the situation where we had to look at holding off going to those permanent opponents for a year." - Mark Womack, Executive Associate Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference