Report: SEC Nearing Agreement for 10-Game Conference-Only CFB Schedule in 2020

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIJuly 29, 2020

LSU players celebrate with teammates after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The SEC is set to become the latest Power Five conference to move to a 10-game, conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  

Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated reported the SEC is "moving closer to an agreement" with a majority of its members' athletic directors approving the idea during a virtual meeting Wednesday. 

SEC presidents are expected to meet Thursday to ratify the potential schedule change. 

By the time the SEC presidents meet to discuss the changes, there may be few alternatives remaining. 

Earlier Wednesday, the ACC announced it was moving to an 11-game schedule with 10 games against conference opponents and the inclusion of previously independent Notre Dame. That move followed similar steps taken by the Big Ten on July 9 and then the Pac-12 a day later. 

The Big 12 is expected to make a decision on the matter in the coming days, per an earlier report from ESPN's Heather Dinich

Per Dellenger, the SEC moving to a conference-only schedule has a number of benefits:

"A conference-only schedule, however, has emerged as a potential best option, even though all league administrators are not necessarily in agreement. A conference-only slate allows for flexibility and for all games to feature a uniform testing protocol. The number of games, 10, is seen by many in college football as a potential minimum requirement to compete in the College Football Playoff this year, though that number is likely to fluctuate according to the impacts of the virus."

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The decisions by the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten have already canceled a number of high-profile games, including Ohio State-Alabama, Miami-Michigan State, Georgia-Virginia and Auburn-North Carolina. 

Should the SEC change receive approval, the next step would be adjusting the current schedule, which will require each program to add two games against conference opponents. Typically, schools face six games against division rivals, one permanent rivalry game and a rotating opponent from the opposite SEC division.