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Opener with FSU highlights stiff start to ’16 slate

Beginning with a neutral-site season opener against Florida State and featuring key Southeastern Conference home games at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the 2016 Ole Miss football schedule is sure to get Rebel fans excited.

The Southeastern Conference announced the football schedules for all 14 SEC schools for the 2016 season Thursday.

The Rebels’ season opener against the ACC heavyweight Seminoles will be played Sept. 5 in Orlando, Florida.

Home conference games that will be played on Hemingway Field’s new natural grass surface will be Alabama (Sept. 17), Georgia (Sept. 24), Auburn (Oct. 29) and Mississippi State (Nov. 26).
Other home games include Wofford (Sept. 10), Memphis (Oct. 1) and Georgia Southern (Nov. 5).

The Rebels’ SEC road games are at Arkansas (Oct. 15), LSU (Oct. 22), Texas A&M (Nov. 12) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 19).

With 13 playing weekends, the 2016 schedule includes one open date for each team (Oct. 8 for Ole Miss).

Each SEC team plays eight conference football games to include six games against division opponents and two games against non-division opponents. One of the non-division opponents is a permanent annual opponent (Ole Miss’ is Vanderbilt) and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year.

The 2016 season is the first for the SEC that adds a strength-of-schedule component that requires all schools to play an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or Major Independent opponent on an annual basis.

For the 25th consecutive year, the 2016 season will culminate with the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 3, 2016 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.