The release of the SEC soccer schedule on Wednesday included the return of non-conference games and an opening list on September 4 that included Power 5 matchups LSU at UCLA, Georgia v Clemson (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Miami v Alabama (Atlanta). .
Louisville and Ole Miss will play against each other in Atlanta on September 6, Labor Day.
Texas A&M, which narrowly missed the college football playoffs last season, will travel to Colorado in Week 2 and create a matchup of previous Big 12 programs. The game is played at Empower Field on Mile High in Denver.
Other Power 5 non-conference games this weekend include Texas in Arkansas, NC State in Mississippi State, and Pittsburgh in Tennessee.
Auburn, led by new coach Bryan Harsin, will play at Penn State in Week 3.
Defending champions Alabama kick off the conference game this Saturday with a trip to Florida preparing a rematch of last season’s SEC championship game, which the Crimson Tide won 52-46.
“We are proud to have completed the 2020 football season under special circumstances and will now focus on playing the 2021 football season as planned,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement. “The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus will continue to guide our decision-making if adjustments are required.”
The SEC canceled all non-conference games during the pandemic last season, with each team playing a regular season of 10 games against league opponents.
The 2021 schedule also includes two homecoming trips for head coaches.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin will return to Tennessee for the first time as head coach when the Rebels play the Volunteers on October 16. Kiffin only spent one season as head coach in Tennessee in 2009 before moving to USC, which caused an uproar among students in Knoxville.
Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze will return to his old turf when Liberty visits Ole Miss on November 6th. Freeze spent five seasons as the head coach at Ole Miss before stepping down in 2017 after school officials found a pattern that included phone calls to a number associated with a female escort service. Freeze took over the Liberty program in 2019, going 18-6 in two seasons.
Other highlights from the SEC schedule release include:
New South Carolina manager Shane Beamer will make his debut against Eastern Illinois on September 4th.
Vanderbilt and Stanford will begin a four-game series in Nashville on September 18.
Auburn-Georgia, an annual cross-departmental game known as the Deep South’s oldest rivalry, is played in Auburn on October 9th.
The SEC championship game will be played on December 4th at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.