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Mizzou opens season by hosting Alabama

Eric Blum
The Examiner
Missouri head football coach Eli Drinkwitz shouts directions to players during the first day of fall practice Monday at the Kadlec Practice Fields. The Tigers are scheduled to open their season Sept. 26.

Missouri is scheduled to begin its pandemic-delayed 2020 football season with a home game against Alabama on Sept. 26.

That will be Eli Drinkwitz’s head coaching debut with the Tigers, and it will come against the No. 3 Crimson Tide and Nick Saban.

The Tigers then travel to Tennessee on Oct. 3 and then to defending national champion LSU on Oct. 10. They return home on Oct. 17 against Vanderbilt before heading to Florida on Oct. 24. An Oct. 31 home game against Kentucky precedes a bye week on Nov. 7.

Mizzou concludes the season at home against Georgia (Nov. 14), at South Carolina (Nov. 21), home against Arkansas (Nov. 28) and at Mississippi State (Dec. 5).

During a Zoom call with local media last month, Drinkwitz was asked about the possibility of adding SEC West division opponents as part of an altered schedule, which ultimately happened when the league changed to a 10-game, Southeastern Conference-only slate.

Drinkwitz replied: “If we play a conference-only schedule, would Lou Saban or Nick Saban be the head coach at Alabama?”

His poking fun at President Donald Trump’s slip-up on a conference call, mistakenly remembering the first name of the Crimson Tide leader, is now set to come full circle in less than six weeks.

Saban is 13-0 in season openers as Alabama's head coach. He's 12-1 in SEC openers. The loss came on Sept. 19, 2015, vs. Mississippi.

The Tigers have not won a season opener against an FBS opponent since 2011, a 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio).