For years, SEC fans have demanded fewer matches against lower-level groups and more matches with their team’s opponents.
It took a pandemic, but they can get their wishes.
The SEC will approach an agreement on a timetable for 10 conference-only games, several sources said Illustrated sportsDuring a virtual meeting on Wednesday, most athletic directors approved the idea of a 10-game schedule for the SEC only. However, the schedule must be ratified by the presidents of the league. The SEC presidents are expected to meet virtually on Thursday to discuss the matter seriously. It is not clear whether they will then vote or postpone the decision until next week. The NCAA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, which could be a significant event for the 2020-21athletics season. Officials could postpone or cancel the fall championships, eliminating year-round championships in sports such as FCS, volleyball and football, or postponing them in the spring.
Three weeks ago, the SEC’s athletic directors met in Birmingham for a face-to-face meeting that prepared several potential contingency plans for the 2020 season, including plans for 8-10 games exclusively for the conference and plans that include eight conference games plus one or two unannounced games – conference games. Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced their plans for conference schedules only, but ACC, Big 12 and SEC have sought to maintain non-conference games between their schools, namely LSU-Texas and Tennessee-Oklahoma matches and four traditional annual competitive games between ACC and SEC: Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville and South Carolina-Clemson.
However, only the conference schedule proved to be a potential best option, although not all league administrators necessarily agree. The conference table allows flexibility and a single test protocol is available for all games. The number of games, 10, is perceived by many in college football as a potential minimum requirement to compete in the playoffs for college football this year, although this number is likely to vary according to the effects of the virus.
If the SEC decision were taken, a ripple would be created that would spread to more levels. ACC and Big 12 would lose a combined 13 games against the SEC and ACC announced its own schedule on Wednesday. A group of five may have no choice but to drive. All college football could play a shortened season that only includes conference games.
A conference-only model would eliminate games against groups of five and FCS. They are often referred to as “buying games” because SEC teams pay their traveling competitors steep prices – sometimes up to $ 1.5 million per game. In fact, SEC teams paid more than $ 45 million in 2017 to purchase games, according to NCAA school reports obtained from SI. This year, Georgia is the only SEC school with two Power 5 programs according to its non-conference schedule. All other teams play against the groups of group five / FCS three matches. SEC teams could owe these clubs millions for cancellation. However, there is potential. At least in some gaming contracts, a change in the format of the “planning league” could relieve the SEC team of its contractual responsibility, said several SI administrators.
If the model were approved by the presidents, the SEC could find itself in a prickly situation when planning two more conference games. The regular season of the league includes six matches against enemies of the inner division, one regular opponent and two spinning opponents from the opposite division.
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