The SEC revealed its week one schedule on Monday afternoon and I was quite surprised to see the Tennessee Vols receive a favorable matchup.

Jeremy Pruitt’s squad will open the 2020 season on the road against South Carolina, a game the Vols should win.

I halfway expected Tennessee to open the season against Georgia, Texas A&M, or Auburn — which would’ve been disastrous for the Vols.

A game against the Gamecocks, however, is exactly what Tennessee needs. It’s not a “gimme” game, but it’s a game where the Vols can work out some of the kinks from fall camp. You don’t want to work out the kinks against Auburn or Georgia.

So why did the Vols get a decent matchup?

Well, it’s not because the SEC was trying to do Tennessee any favors. It’s because the SEC’s intentions in week one are clear.

The conference didn’t want to feature any “marquee games” in week one, which is wise.

Everyone is going to be excited to have SEC football on September 26, regardless of who is playing.

Why waste a great matchup on a week when everyone will already be watching?

There’s going to be a lot of great matchups this season. It makes sense to get the weakest matchups out of the way first. There are still going to be some “duds” on the schedule (LSU vs Vanderbilt for example), but those duds will be easier to handle when you get a matchup like Florida/Texas A&M on the same day. There’s no reason to feature those intriguing matchups in week one.

The Vols are the benefactor of the SEC trying to maximize its exposure. For once, something with the SEC schedule went Tennessee’s way.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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