It’s been a hectic 24 hours in the college football landscape. Conferences are facing cancellations of the football season while others are giving their best efforts to make a season still happen. The news cycle has constantly been changing and is unpredictable. The next 24-48 hours could provide a lot more clarity on the possibility of a 2020 football season.
2020 Schedule Changes
Last week the SEC released a revised SEC football schedule for the upcoming season. The changes included a 10-game conference only schedule that includes the addition of two cross-division games. This puts the start date on September 26 with the conference championship on December 19 in Atlanta.
Each SEC team will have a bye week December 12. This week will be used for makeup games due to the effects of COVID-19, or simply as a rest week if a makeup game is not necessary. Dates and times have yet to be released but each team’s added opponents have. Additions are listed below.
- Alabama: Kentucky, @ Missouri
- Arkansas: Georgia, @ Florida
- Auburn: Tennessee, @ South Carolina
- Florida: Arkansas, @ Texas A&M
- Georgia: Mississippi State, @ Arkansas
- Kentucky: Ole Miss, @ Alabama
- LSU: Missouri, @ Vanderbilt
- Ole Miss: South Carolina, @ Kentucky
- Mississippi State: Vanderbilt, @ Georgia
- Missouri: Alabama, @ LSU
- South Carolina: Auburn, @ Ole Miss
- Tennessee: Texas A&M, @ Auburn
- Texas A&M: Florida, @ Tennessee
- Vanderbilt: LSU, @ Mississippi State
Fall Season Outlook
At the moment it doesn’t look good. On Saturday night the MAC Conference became the first FBS conference to cancel football in the Fall. As of Monday evening, it appears the Mountain West Conference has followed suit. Old Dominion and UCONN have both canceled their football seasons as well.
Reports over the weekend pointed towards the Pac-12 and B1G conferences canceling their fall seasons as soon as Tuesday. A tweet from the Dan Patrick Show announced that the B1G had put it to a vote as early as Monday morning, and had decided not to play.
According to Dan's source, 12 of the 14 Presidents from the Big 10 have voted against having a Fall College Football season. Iowa and Nebraska were the two that have been pushing to play.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) August 10, 2020
Nothing has been made official yet. Part of the reason is speculated that the B1G hopes to push the other Power 5 conferences to follow suit and cancel the season. At the current time the B1G and Pac-12 appear to be in favor of canceling the season while the ACC and SEC want to play.
A spokesperson Monday said the ACC appears to be locked in for a season this Fall. Despite other leagues potentially shutting down in the next few days, the spokesperson remarked “I’m not sure it’s going to happen in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
Effects on SEC Season
The best news for the league comes from the encouraging words from the ACC spokesperson. If the league pushes to play that would give the SEC a fellow Power 5 conference for an exciting Fall. A lot lies with the Big12. The fate of the football season may lie with the Big12’s decision. Three Power 5 conferences green lighting the season would likely be enough to move forward.
More encouraging news came out Monday with the Sun Belt announcing that they are staying firm on a Fall season. While this doesn’t mean anything for scheduling it now puts three leagues (ACC, SEC, Sun Belt) in the same region who would play which could have positive postseason implications for traveling purposes should the season get that far.
Multiple coaches and ADs have expressed support for the players who have shown overwhelming support to play the season. They won’t be the final decision but could hold some sway should it have to come to a vote.
Best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: “Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day.” @SEC has been deliberate at each step since March…slowed return to practice…delayed 1st game to respect start of fall semester..
— Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) August 10, 2020
As of right now, there is no definitive decision on the future of the season from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. More meetings are expected to take place in the coming days as likely will be decisions from other conferences.
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