The 2016 SEC football schedules were released on Thursday night. There is nothing new to be announced as Alabama will still be running the gauntlet in the SEC West. The new teams on the schedule are USC, Western Kentucky, Kentucky, Kent State and Tuscaloosa. Only two teams, Texas A&M and LSU, have bye weeks before they play the Crimson Tide in 2016.
Here’s the full schedule:
September 3: USC in Arlington, Texas: The Crimson Tide hold a 5-2 lead in the all-time series but the two teams have not met since 1985. The teams have split four neutral site meetings with an average score of 23-21 in Alabama’s favor.
September 10: vs. Western Kentucky: Alabama’s home opener will be against the Hilltoppers. The Crimson Tide are 2-0 against WKU and won the 2012 meeting 35-0.
September 17: at Ole Miss: The Rebels have won two straight and will get to host the Crimson Tide in the SEC opener.
September 24: vs. Kent State: Alabama won this matchup 41-7 in 2011.
October 1: vs. Kentucky: The first conference home game for the Crimson Tide doesn’t come until October. Alabama is 36-2 all-time against the Wildcats, including a 9-0 record at home. The Tide won 48-7 in Lexington in 2013.
October 8: at Arkansas: The Razorbacks came close to pulling the upset in 2014 and will continue to get better under coach Bielema. Nick Saban has not lost to Arkansas since he got to Tuscaloosa.
October 15: at Tennessee: The big rivalry returns to the third Saturday in October. Neyland Stadium will be loud for what should be a very good Tennessee team. Alabama has won nine straight though and holds 52-37-7 edge in the series. Back-to-back road SEC games is never an easy task though.
October 22: vs. Texas A&M: The Crimson Tide has handled Kevin Sumlin and his high-powered offenses over the last two seasons. But thoughts of Johnny Manziel still linger in Tuscaloosa, making this an always dangerous game. Alabama holds a 5-2 lead in the all-time series.
October 29: open
November 5: at LSU: Alabama will travel to Baton Rouge after a bye week that falls in a good spot after another rough October schedule. The last two trips to LSU have been great finishes. No matter how good each team is, the two will always compete at their best against each other.
November 12: vs. Mississippi State: The last time the Bulldogs visited Tuscaloosa, they were the top-ranked team in the country. However, Dak Prescott will be gone and Dan Mullen might have his hands full next year. The Crimson Tide hold 77-17-3 advantage in this series, including winning the last seven meetings.
November 19: vs. Chattanooga: The Crimson Tide are 12-0 all time against UT-Chattanooga, including a win in 2013.
November 26: vs. Auburn: The season will, of course, end with the Iron Bowl. It will be in Tuscaloosa for the 2016 season. The Tide currently leads this series 43-35-1 including a 55-44 win in 2014’s game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter, @CalebTurrentine.