Kentucky's 2013 Southeastern Schedule will include a home date against powerhouse Alabama, it was announced on Thursday. The league office released the conference schedule on Wednesday, and UK released its nonconference schedule shortly after.
The Wildcats open with a home date against Florida on Sept. 28. UK hasn't beaten Florida in 26 years, and has drawn the Gators as the conference opener seven times since 2004.
According to the league's news release, the schedule is considered a "bridge" schedule and is not based on the conference's previous schedule formats or indicative of future scheduling formats. The SEC had to tweak its scheduling rotation when it added Texas A&M and Missouri this summer, expanding the conference from 12 to 14 teams.
"As we began working on the 2013 football schedule, it became apparent that the conference would need another year of the 'bridge' schedule to make everything work," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive in the release. "I appreciate the SEC transition team and our athletics directors, who came together to put this schedule in place. We look forward to starting with our new scheduling rotation in 2014."
That change left Arkansas off the schedule for the Wildcats for 2013 even though the Wildcats had traveled to Fayetteville this season. There are several potential future scheduling formats that have been proposed, including an expanded nine-game conference schedule.
Kentucky will hit the road to face South Carolina in the second week of the season before returning home to face the Crimson Tide on Oct. 12. UK also travels to Mississippi State on Oct. 26 after hosting the Bulldogs in Lexington for two consecutive seasons.
UK will host Missouri for the first time since the Tigers joined the conference on Nov. 9, and faces back-to-back conference games on the road after that. UK will play at Vanderbilt on Nov. 16 and at Georgia on Nov. 23 before hosting Tennessee on Nov. 30 to conclude the regular season.
The 2013 SEC Championship Game will be played on Dec. 7 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Wildcats' schedule is as follows (HOME GAMES in all caps, * denotes SEC game):
Aug. 31: Western Kentucky (Nashville)
Sept. 7: MIAMI OF OHIO
Sept. 14: LOUISVILLE
Sept. 21: Open
Sept. 28: FLORIDA*
Oct. 5: @ South Carolina*
Oct. 12: ALABAMA*
Oct. 19: Open
Oct. 26: @ Mississippi State*
Nov. 2: ALABAMA STATE
Nov. 9: MISSOURI*
Nov. 16: @ Vanderbilt*
Nov. 23: @ Georgia*
Nov. 30: TENNESSEE*
Dec. 7: SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)
The full SEC schedule can be found here.