| FTBL SEC announces 10 game conference only schedule, kickoff on 9/26

planomateo

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With the ACC announcing 11 (10 conference + 1 OOC), wonder where the SEC will land on this.

 

Elderfalsedemigod

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Doesn’t make sense Why negate the ooc ACC games
 

rocknthefreeworld

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Control. The SEC has the power to force schools to meet certain requirements they set. They can't do the same for the ACC.

ACC also has 14/15 depending on the Notre Dame situation. SEC only has 14. And you would have to get agreement on how to schedule each SEC/ACC game so everyone had a single OOC opponent and nobody felt it was unfair (why should Bama get Duke while UGA gets GeorgiaTech/etc)

Edit. I wrote this assuming the ooc would all be ACC vs SEC but they issue still stands if you only make those who already play an SEC vs ACC game play those and everyone else find their own opponent.
 
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50+yeartidefan

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If such worked as posted....
Who gets hardest...... Florida ( AnM and Bama)
Who gets easiest ...UGA ( MSU&Ark)

Some others get close...
It works i guess if it has to
 

mando

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Seems to be stacking the deck in UGA's favor.
 

BamaFan334

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Add their candy ass schedule for the last six years and they definitely get the leg up. Playing Missouri, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and South Carolina each year isn't exactly hurting their chances at the Playoffs, preseason.
 

TerryP

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Last season, UGA's loss to UofSC would have likely kept them out even if they did win the SECCG against LSU. The committee would have been looking at a UGA loss to a four win UofSC Team vs a OU loss to an eight win KSU team.
 

rick4bama

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SEC is better then any of the other ones!
 

#80

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It sounds like Dellenger's reporting on the two additional games may not be accurate hold off on those hotel reservations more to come.
 

planomateo

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The Southeastern Conference has established September 26 as the new kickoff for its 2020 football season to allow its universities to focus on the healthy return of their campus communities and the gradual re-introduction of athletics, as the 14 members of the SEC continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Thursday.

The 2020 SEC football season will be comprised of a 10-game Conference-only schedule and the SEC Football Championship Game will be played December 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of December 5. The schedule will include one mid-season open date for each school and an open date on December 12 for all schools.

"This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus," Sankey said. "This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities."

This action was taken following extensive discussions and thorough deliberation among the SEC's Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, Conference Office staff, and medical advisors, led by the SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.

"After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs," said Sankey.

The decision to limit competition to Conference-only opponents and rescheduling the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals.

"We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur," Sankey said. "It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures."

The rescheduled start to the season will allow the SEC to continue to monitor health trends across its 11-state footprint, as well as monitor developments in technology around mitigation and treatment of the virus, including:

  • Trends in public health indicators throughout the SEC's 11-state footprint, including positive cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and recovery statistics
  • State, local and campus heath directives, including restrictions on gatherings, isolation requirements for travelers, and other health and travel restrictions
  • Continued development of risk mitigation strategies
  • Continued advancement in COVID-19 testing reliability and availability
  • Continued evolution of time-based strategies for resuming activities after positive test results, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine requirements
  • Observation of successes and challenges presented by return to competition in other sports
A revised schedule for the 2020 SEC football season will be announced at a later date following approval by the Conference's athletics directors.

Further decisions regarding safety standards related to athletics events, tailgating and other game day activities, including social distancing, face covering and other health measures consistent with CDC, state and local guidelines, will be announced at a later date.

Other notes related to the resumption of competition:

  • The SEC announced in July that the sports of men's and women's cross country, soccer and volleyball would be postponed through at least August 31. Start dates and schedules for those sports, as well as sports in their non-traditional seasons during the fall, will be announced at a later date.
  • The SEC announced in July that student-athletes in all sports who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.
  • The SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force continues to meet on policies and procedures for the safe return of student-athletes to competition, including the development of comprehensive testing and reporting policies, building on the NCAA's Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.
  • Each athletics program has been engaged in evaluating best practices for game operations to prepare a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, staff, officials and other individuals necessary to conduct games.
 
S

SEC Sports


The SEC’s decision to adopt a 10-game conference-only model eliminated some of college football's biggest rivalry games. Why did they choose this format? And what happens next?


If 2020 wasn’t already bad enough, it will not include the following:

Florida-Florida State.

Georgia-Georgia Tech.

South Carolina-Clemson.

Texas-LSU.

Tennessee-Oklahoma.

Arkansas-Notre Dame.

The SEC’s decision Thursday to adopt a 10-game conference-only model came at a price. Some of college football’s biggest marquee matchups are eliminated. This feels weird. It doesn’t feel right. In fact, it feels terrible.

So, it feels very 2020.

Administrators from some of those schools fought to preserve those games—South Carolina’s president even voted against the scheduling model—but alas, it couldn’t be done. This is 2020—the Year of the Terrible—and we’ll all need to come to grips with a season, if played at all, that is beyond the bizarre.

We’ll try to answer two questions in this column: 1) Why did the SEC choose that schedule model? 2) How might they choose the two additional SEC opponents for each one of its teams?

The SEC’s decision followed the ACC’s announcement Wednesday of an 11-game scheduling model: 10 conference games and one non-conference option that must be played in the home state of the ACC team, leaving the door open to at least play those four, in-state rivalry bouts with the SEC.

So why did the SEC punt on them? The reasons are a plenty. But there is one overarching feeling: The SEC put the value of completing a conference season over the value of non-conference, rivalry games.

You can agree or disagree with that, but that’s what happened. It’s not a bad move. In fact, by the end of all of this, we may see every single conference in America do the same: intra-league play only. Why try to squeeze in out-of-conference affairs during a pandemic? It puts even more risk on your teams—injuries, viral outbreaks, etc. The goal is to complete a conference season and crown a conference champion. It’s easier to do that without intertwining these non-conference games.

Also, the league basically ran out of Saturdays, as Florida AD Scott Stricklin aptly put it Thursday during a news conference. The SEC is kicking off its new season on Sept. 26, three weeks later than previously scheduled. It has built in a mid-season bye week for each team (spread over a three-week stretch, according to commissioner Greg Sankey), and there is a shared off week of Dec. 12 for any games interrupted by virus outbreaks (there almost certainly will be some). They’ve also pushed the championship game back to Dec. 19.

Let’s start with that delayed start. It was, according to those within the conference, the most hotly debated item among officials. Several administrators supported an earlier start. The Sept. 26 date is later than all other conferences are expected to begin their seasons. During an interview on The Paul Finebaum Show, Sankey suggested that the surge of students returning to campus next month was a big reason why. “Over the last two weeks of August, we are going to have tens of thousands of people back on our campuses. We need to make sure that happens and happens well,” he said.

The league’s medical experts advised officials to delay the season to (1) monitor what happens in the professional leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and (2) account for spikes when students arrive on campus and football camp begins. The latter is a big deal. College sports cannot operate in a bubble like many professional leagues, as detailed in this story published Monday. As football camps rev up, the injection of so many people onto a college campus—a petri dish for contagious diseases in a normal year—is a serious concern for administrators and team doctors. To put it mildly, too many August campus outbreaks could be the end of any hope of completing a college football season.

The bottomline: There are still plenty of hurdles to cross, especially for the SEC, its 11-state footprint featuring high virus case numbers. “This doesn’t mean we’re definitely playing a season,” one SEC administrator told SI on Thursday after the league’s announcement.

Now that we’ve covered the delayed start, let’s move on to the conference-only schedule, which three weeks ago wasn’t necessarily the most preferred option. In an in-person meeting in Birmingham, ADs were hoping to salvage those Power 5 non-conference games with a model that called for eight conference games and one or two non-conference meetings.

That plan quickly folded for a variety of reasons, the top one being nation-wide COVID-19 spikes, especially, as mentioned above, the numbers within the conference’s footprint. A conference-only schedule allows for flexibility to potentially move games postponed because of virus outbreaks and frees up leagues to start the season, as the SEC is doing, deeper into September.

A conference-only slate accomplishes two other things that people haven’t discussed enough, both involving money. It provides television partners with juicy marquee conference collisions on a weekly basis and it supplies colleges with a potential way out of their “buy game” contracts. At least two SEC ADs tell SI that their contracts feature a clause allowing them to void the deal if the league office changes the scheduling format. This is significant, as these "buy games" can cost schools upwards of $3 million in a single season. That’s not to say these games against Group of 5 and FCS teams won’t be rescheduled for later in the decade. It’s to say these teams (barring a court battle, which is possible) won’t immediately get their money.

Meanwhile, the SEC is faced with one of its toughest tasks in a while: choosing two additional opponents for each one of its teams in a league that’s rife with venom, jealousy and, at times, hate. We spitballed on social media this week that the league could use each team’s next two rotational cross-division opponents as its two additional opponents this year. That was met with some backlash, and it doesn’t appear the SEC will take such a route. That model would create inequality, for one, and could also throw a wrench into 2021 and 2022 schedules.

So how then to decide the schedules? The league is expected to craft a scheduling model that potentially is weighted on strength of schedule. Basically, they’ll attempt to be as fair as possible.

Meanwhile, their teams next week will begin preseason camp, despite the delayed start. The NCAA is allowing teams to begin camp four weeks out from their previously scheduled season opener. That means a seven-week preseason for the SEC.

It’s just another wrinkle on what is shaping up to be one of the most bizarre seasons in college football history—one that, in 2020 fashion, will not include those marquee matchups we all hoped for.
 

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