The Southeastern Conference announced Thursday that all fourteen member colleges will play a ten game conference-only schedule.
Along with this, the start of the season will be pushed back to September 26. With this move, many major non-conference contests will be lost such as Ole Miss vs. Baylor, LSU vs. Texas, Auburn vs. North Carolina, and Oklahoma vs. Tennessee.
Also, the SEC Football Championship Game has officially been pushed from December 5 to December 19.
“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,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated.
“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. 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.”
No official plans have been made for the extra two conference games, but rumors floated about on Wednesday about each team picking up their 2021 and 2022 cross-division rotational opponents.
For Ole Miss, that would mean picking up Tennessee and Kentucky. As for Mississippi State, this would add Vanderbilt and Georgia to the 2020 schedule.
However, no official plans have been announced for the extra two games for each team’s schedule.