Missouri football learned the identity of its final two Southeastern Conference opponents Friday, adding LSU and Alabama to its league slate.
Although plans surrounding the college football season remain tentative amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Tigers are scheduled to start the season Sept. 26, with the opponent and location to be determined.
The announcement Friday afternoon leaves Auburn, Mississippi and Texas A&M as the only SEC teams Missouri isn’t scheduled to face in 2020.
Missouri is set to host Alabama and play on the road against LSU.
The full schedule has yet to be announced but is expected within the next two weeks.
"This year has been unique in many ways and is teaching us to embrace new challenges as opportunities," Missouri head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz wrote in a statement last week. "#NewZou has a core value of 'always compete' and we look forward to the challenge of an all-SEC schedule to do just that. We will be ready."
LSU, the defending national champion, is coming off one of the most prolific seasons in college football history, led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
With many others alongside Burrow departing Baton Rouge for the NFL, coach Ed Orgeron retained a skilled team not expected to drop far from its form a year ago.
LSU brings back dynamic receiving duo Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, alongside defensive back pair Derek Stingley and JaCoby Stevens.
The only SEC meeting between the fellow Tigers took place in 2016, a 42-7 home win for LSU, where it ran for six touchdowns between Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams.
Missouri has never hosted LSU, with MU winning the only other previous matchup between the schools in the 1978 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Crimson Tide appear to always be in the national title conversation with coach Nick Saban at the helm, and 2020 is no different.
Alabama went 11-2 last season, with its only losses coming on the road to Auburn and LSU.
The last meeting between Missouri and Alabama occurred in 2018 in Tuscaloosa, when the then-top-ranked Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers 39-10.
Despite losing Tua Tagovailoa and Jerry Jeudy to the NFL, Alabama brings back 13 starters on offense and defense combined, including its entire offensive line.
The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series against the Tigers 4-2, having won the past four matchups dating back to 1978.
The last Missouri win over Alabama came in 1975.
Heading into Friday's announcement, Missouri was guaranteed to add at least one team ranked in the top 13 of the preseason Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday. Alabama is No. 3, LSU is No. 5, Auburn barely missed the top 10 at No. 11 and Texas A&M rounds out the ranked SEC West group at No. 13.
Missouri will no longer play its four originally scheduled nonconference games against Central Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Michigan and BYU as a result of the conference’s recent reshuffling.
The SEC moved from a full 12-game regular season to a 10-game, conference-only schedule for all 14 league teams last week.
"We made every effort to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the existing eight conference games that had already been scheduled for 2020," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey wrote Friday in a statement after the conference announcement. "This schedule is a one-year anomaly that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the impact of COVID-19."
The Tigers retain all eight of their previously scheduled SEC opponents.
Home games against Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Arkansas are still slated to take place as part of the conference’s SEC East Division and the yearly crossover game with the SEC West (Arkansas).
The December regular-season finale against the Razorbacks was the only matchup Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk was confident about having scheduled during a recent Zoom call with reporters.
Sterk stated on the call that the game against Arkansas would take place the first weekend in December and be moved back to Faurot Field in Columbia instead of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
Missouri’s four previously scheduled road games against South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi State also are retained.
The new schedule includes a mid-season open week for each SEC team and a universal open week Dec. 12, the Saturday before the conference championship game in Atlanta. The open weeks are designed for possible make-up games in the case of postponements.
Missouri is scheduled to open fall camp Aug. 17, more than a month after mandatory team workouts began.
Mizzou football 2020 opponents
Home: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Arkansas
Away: LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Tennessee