The 2017 SEC football season kicks off in a little more than a month, which means this is crunch time for your travel plans.
If you have a sudden urge to visit all 14 SEC stadiums but don’t want to map it out, we did the work for you (and threw in a few other games, too). Pro tip: Buy an RV, because it’s way too late to make hotel reservations.
Sept. 2: Alabama vs. Florida State
Mercedes-Benz Stadium • Atlanta, Georgia
Your first stop might as well be the first-ever college football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. Situated next to the Georgia Dome, the new venue seats 70,000-plus and sells draft beer for $5. Oh, and you’ll likely be watching a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the Crimson Tide and Seminoles.
Sept. 9: South Carolina @ Missouri
Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field • Columbia, Missouri
This is the only SEC university that allows you to spend game weekend in a dorm room. Enrollment may be down at Mizzou, but the football team is primed to light up scoreboards this fall. Junior Drew Lock will square off against South Carolina sophomore Jake Bentley in a must-see quarterback battle.
Sept. 16: Tennessee @ Florida
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, Florida
It’s best to get to the Swamp when there’s still some summer humidity coating the air. The Tennessee-Florida rivalry is one of the conference’s best, and it has a little more fuel after the Vols’ come-from-behind victory last season. Most of the main characters from 2016 are gone, but this contest should tell us plenty about the SEC East’s power structure.
Sept. 23: Florida @ Kentucky
Kroger Field (formerly known as Commonwealth Stadium) • Lexington, Kentucky
If there’s anything sadder than the Kentucky football stadium’s new name, it’s the program’s 30-game losing streak to Florida. The Gators are projected to have another strong season, so they’ll be favored to make it 31. But the Wildcats program is beginning to show some signs of life under Mark Stoops.
Sept. 30: Georgia @ Tennessee
Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, Tennessee
You’re probably not going to see another ending like the Georgia-Tennessee “Dobbs-Nail Boot” of 2016, but this is another rivalry game that’s expected to affect the SEC East championship picture. Consider this a “must-win” for the Vols, especially if UT can’t upset Florida in September.
Oct. 7: Georgia @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, Tennessee
Vanderbilt typically finds itself at or near the bottom of the East. This year, though, all seven teams have bowl aspirations. Derek Mason’s Commodores feature several returning starters on offense — including the historically productive Ralph Webb at running back — and they’re coming off a big win over Georgia in Athens. Expect the often-MIA Vandy faithful to show up in big numbers for this one.
Oct. 14: Auburn @ LSU
Tiger Stadium • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
To the West we go! Alabama has two major challengers for the division title this season, and they’ll both be in Baton Rouge on Oct. 14. Given that neither Auburn nor LSU will have played ‘Bama yet, this heavyweight contest will decide which program is a better fit to stem the Crimson Tide.
Oct. 21: LSU @ Ole Miss
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium • Oxford, Mississippi
The Ole Miss faithful won’t let off-field drama affect its Friday nights this fall. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter; the Rebels throw one heckuva party the night before in The Grove. Be sure to get to Oxford by Friday afternoon to reserve a spot for one of college football’s most famous traditions.
Oct. 28: Mississippi State @ Texas A&M
Kyle Field • College Station, Texas
The outlook isn’t pretty for Texas A&M this season, which means the MSU game will be one of the few that Aggies fans can expect to win. Similar to Ole Miss, you won’t want to miss the party on game-day eve. Instead of putting up tents outside the stadium, the A&M crowd walks right into Kyle Field around midnight to practice its “yells” for the upcoming game.
Nov. 4: LSU @ Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Perhaps the best SEC rivalry of the past decade, Alabama-LSU provides consistently close games (except for the last time the Tigers and Tide met in Tuscaloosa, that is). First place in the SEC West could be up for grabs as the final month of the season begins.
Nov. 11: Florida @ South Carolina
Williams-Brice Stadium • Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina helped Florida back into the SEC Championship Game last season by upsetting Tennessee in Columbia. This season, the Gamecocks could have a chance to punch their own ticket to Atlanta with another surprising win. The Steve Spurrier connection ensures there’s always a little bit of bad blood between these schools, and a USC win would make anti-Will Muschamp folks in Gainesville pull out their hair.
Nov. 18: Kentucky @ Georgia
Sanford Stadium • Athens, Georgia
Georgia’s 2017 home schedule is light. That’s good for the Dawgs, but bad for entertainment value. Kentucky is one of two home opponents — along with Appalachian State — that won seven or more games last season, and the Wildcats likely will need a “W” in this game to improve their bowl prospects. Georgia, meanwhile, should be fighting for No. 1 in the East standings.
Nov. 23: Ole Miss @ Mississippi State
Davis Wade Stadium • Starkville, Mississippi
Are you ready for three games in three days? Let’s begin with the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving. There probably won’t be much riding on this game — especially given that Ole Miss is barred from the postseason — but the Rebels would love to spoil their rival’s bowl dreams with an upset victory.
Nov. 24: Missouri @ Arkansas
Donald W. Reynolds Stadium • Fayetteville, Arkansas
It’s Day 2 of 3, and you’ve somehow made it from Starkville to Fayetteville after chowing down on a huge Thanksgiving dinner. Your bleary eyes won’t be the best judge, but let us know: Is the Arkansas-Missouri “Battle Line Rivalry” as real as the schools want it to be? Last year’s dramatic Tigers upset certainly helped.
Nov. 25: Alabama @ Auburn
Jordan-Hare Stadium • Auburn, Alabama
We’re ready for the Iron Bowl to be great again. The Yellowhammer rivalry produced all-time games in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014; could 2017 eventually make that list? That depends on whether Gus Malzahn and the Tigers can replicate past offensive success with new quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Count on Alabama to be at or near the top of the polls. This rivalry has featured at least one Top-2 team for nine consecutive seasons.
Dec. 2: 2017 SEC Championship Game
Mercedes-Benz Stadium • Atlanta, Georgia
Back to the beginning we go. Alabama and Florida both have made it here in consecutive seasons, but a new venue might draw some new blood from the West and East. No matter which teams show up, the state-of-the-art stadium will mark a new era for the country’s longest-running conference title game.
How many SEC games are you traveling to this fall? Let us know in the comments section below.