With college football schedules across the country in flux amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC will announce Thursday afternoon that it will move to a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season, according to AL.com and Sports Illustrated. The SEC will also push the start of its season to Saturday, Sept. 26, what was originally scheduled to be Week 4 of the 2020 campaign.
It is unknown at this time how the SEC will fill out the additional two games of its conference-only schedule. League members traditionally play eight league games each season: six inside their respective divisions, one permanent cross-division opponent and one rotational cross-division opponent.
With the shift of the season to Sept. 26, the SEC Championship Game will be pushed back two weeks to Saturday, Dec. 19.
The 14 SEC presidents met virtually Thursday to come to this scheduling decision one day after the league’s athletic directors proposed sticking with a conference-only model.
The SEC joins the Big Ten and Pac-12 by deciding to play a conference-only schedule in 2020. The ACC announced Wednesday that it will play an 11-game schedule with 10 intraleague contests and one nonconference game.
It is unknown at this time how the SEC’s decision may affect the ACC’s scheduling plans considering four key nonconference rivalry games (Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Kentucky-Louisville) will be lost by the SEC’s move. Auburn was also set to play North Carolina this season.
Other remaining marquee nonconference games featuring SEC teams this season were LSU-Texas and Tennessee-Oklahoma. The Big 12 has not yet announced any firm plans for its 2020 schedules, though losing those games may affect its decision-