With the release of the SEC schedule for 2017, tonight, we now have the entire 2017 football schedule locked in.
Prior to tonight's release, we already knew the non-conference slate of Georgia Southern, at Clemson, and home for Mercer to start the season. The only other non-conference game to break up the SEC slate will be Louisiana Monroe in between the Georgia and Alabama games.
Auburn's rotating SEC East opponent for next season will be Missouri, and the game will be on the road in Columbia. That's a welcome change to the schedule and a rematch of the 2013 SEC Championship game. Auburn has never played at Missouri. That game will be the SEC opener for the season following the Mercer game.
Following that trip to Columbia, Auburn will get the Mississippi teams at home in Jordan-Hare Stadium before making a brutal three game road trip of LSU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. There will be a bye week between Arkansas and A&M, and it's definitely going to be needed.
Auburn will complete the season with Amen Corner at home, once again. I really wish the SEC could find a way to break this apart, but it's not going to be in 2017. The Tigers will play Georgia, Louisiana Monroe, and Alabama to close out the season.
That's a very tough schedule. Georgia Southern looks to still be rolling in the Sun Belt with a defense that is much better than the Arkansas State defense Auburn faced last weekend, and they'll be returning a significant amount of talent to that team. The SEC schedule is downright brutal with that three game road trip in the middle of the schedule.
Auburn hasn't won in Baton Rouge since 1999. Going into that road trip undefeated or with only one loss will be essential for Auburn to build momentum to make it through.
It's going to be tough sledding for what will be a very young offensive team, and possibly a very young defensive team, as well.