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December 28, 2011

Mizzou opens SEC schedule with Georgia

Since Missouri's acceptance into the Southeastern Conference became official on Nov. 6, Tiger fans have wanted to make their travel plans for the fall of 2012. They can do that now. The SEC released its conference football schedule for next season on Wednesday morning.

Missouri will open with a home game against Georgia on Sept. 8 as its inaugural SEC tilt. Other conference teams coming to Columbia are Vanderbilt (Oct. 6), Alabama (Oct. 13) and Kentucky (Oct. 27). Road trips will be to South Carolina (Sept. 22), Florida (Nov. 3), Tennessee (Nov. 10) and Texas A&M (Nov. 24) for a third year in a row.

"It's good to see the schedule lined out on paper," Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said in a written statement. "Even though we just finished our season, this gets everyone excited to start preparing for the move. We're very pleased and honored to be joining such a successful and historically significant conference, and our program is looking forward to the challenges that we'll face."

The Tigers, however, will have to do some shuffling of their non-conference schedule. Mizzou had been scheduled to host Southern Illinois on Sept. 8, the day now set for the Georgia game. The Tigers have an open date on Sept. 1, but the Salukis are already scheduled to play Eastern Illinois on Aug. 30. A Sept. 15 game against Arizona State is unaffected but the Tigers will have to figure out what to do with a trip to Miami (OH) scheduled for Sept. 22. They will be in Columbia, SC that weekend. The Redhawks do not yet have a 2012 schedule set.

Missouri's fourth non-conference game should theoretically be against Kansas on Nov. 24. However, the Jayhawks have made it known that they do not want to play Mizzou in the future and the status of that game as a non-Big 12 game is up in the air, even though the current contract at Arrowhead Stadium runs through 2012.

The upshot is that the Tigers have to find three non-conference games to fill out the schedule. Current available dates are Sept. 1, Sept. 29, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17.

[LINK: View the entire SEC schedule]

Missouri officials said there is no timetable on setting the three remaining non-conference games. On Friday, PowerMizzou.com has an interview scheduled with Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden. Next year's football schedule will be among the issues discussed.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said that the schedule for this year is not an indication of any future schedules and that conference athletic directors will meet in the spring of 2012 to develop future schedules.

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