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Auburn-Georgia Expected To Move Rivalry To Earlier In Season

Kerryon Johnson of Auburn leaps for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 11: Kerryon Johnson #21 of the Auburn Tigers dives for a touchdown past Deandre Baker #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Auburn's most well-known rivalry series is with Alabama in the Iron Bowl, and Georgia has its famous game against Florida, which is played in Jacksonville every year. The two share the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry as well, but that game may undergo a pretty big scheduling change.

Right now, that makes for a really difficult November every year for the Tigers. Auburn plays Georgia and Alabama, often two of the best teams in the country, in the span of three weeks.

Auburn has proposed a few different solutions to lighten that end-of-season load, and it sounds like we may be nearing one. As of now, the Tigers have Georgia and Alabama on the same home-road rotation as well, so in even years, they have to go to Athens and Tuscaloosa in the same month.

Part of that issue stems from SEC expansion earlier this decade.

When Missouri and Texas A&M were added to the league, Auburn got back-to-back home games against Georgia because of the wrench it through in the rotational conference schedule. Auburn would have to return the favor and head to Athens two years in a row to undo things and break up how their two rivalries are split, something Kirby Smart discussed last year.

It sounds like that may be impossible until the current schedule rotation ends in 2024, but the Auburn-Georgia series could move up to September or October.

That may come as soon as 2020. From 247Sports:

Auburn, Georgia and the SEC are nearing an agreement to move the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry to earlier in the 2020 season in an effort to alleviate scheduling burdens for both schools, industry sources tell Auburn Undercover.

The parties still have hurdles to overcome, but it is expected the 14 SEC schools and commissioner Greg Sankey will move forward to push the game to September or October, the sources said. The scheduling change would lift enormous weight from the Tigers' difficult November schedule, which was set to feature away games at both Georgia and Alabama in the final three weeks of the regular season. Alabama won the SEC title in 2018 and Georgia defeated Auburn to win it in 2017.

Having the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry earlier in the year would definitely feel weird. It has been a November game dating back to 1937.

However, in the last few years, we've had some lean early weekends, especially in September. Moving a prominent SEC rivalry up could help matters there as well, though its unclear when exactly this proposal would change the 2020 game to.