How the SEC’s scheduling decision affects the ACC, Big 12, College Football Playoffs and more


Four Power 5 conferences have announced their preferred scheduling models, as the SEC joins the Big Ten and Pac-12 with conference-only games. SEC now Sept. Plans to play a 10-game season starting at 26. The Big 12 is expected to be decided next week. What do all these decisions mean for the college football season? Here are the answers to the most questions.

What does this mean for ACC-SEC rivalry games?

The SEC’s decision to play only conference games surprised the ACC, only the day after that league’s announcement it would play 10 league foes and a non-playing opponent.

Syracuse athletic director John Wildehawk on the ACC subcommittee looking at scheduling models said the league decided to play with SEC rivals as an illegal sport for four ACC teams. “Those games are important to Clemson and Florida State and Lewisville and Georgia Tech,” he said. “I think in an environment like this where it obviously may not be directly beneficial to Syracuse, but if you can work as a collective body and group that can benefit schools where it Important, so I’m trying to be a good partner and support. “

Wildhawk said the ACC would not change its format because the SEC only opted to go to the conference.

“Clemson aggressively lobbied ABC to include an extra non-conference game for the primary purpose of maintaining our long-standing rivalry game with South Carolina,” Dan Radakovich said. . “” We are disappointed to hear about the scheduling decision announced by the SEC, as we know the importance of the Palmetto Bowl to the state of South Carolina. We will work to fill our schedule immediately. “

The four ACC-SEC matchups are in-state rivalries that mean a lot to fans of those schools and determine the state’s bragging rights for the next 365 days.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t play Clemson this season, but it wasn’t our choice, it was a league decision,” South Carolina coach Will Muskamp said. “This is a sport that is important to our program, our institution and our state and that president [Robert] Caslen and coach [Ray] Tanner worked hard to do this. I look forward to renewing the rivalry in 2021. “

Clemson and South Carolina have played each year since 1909, making it the second consecutive longest rivalry in the FBS, behind only Minnesota-Wisconsin, which started playing each other two years ago. Georgia and Georgia Tech, who have played 114 times, have met each season since 1925. Florida and Florida State began playing each other in 1958, and Louisville and Kentucky have played 32 times since the series was not played between 1924 for 70 years. And 1994.

“Every conference is doing what they think is best for them,” Louisville Athletics Director Vince Tire said before the SEC officially announced its decision. “We are aware of decisions made by the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, but ours was different. Each conference is thinking related to its own conference.”

How will the SEC expand its schedule from eight conference games to 10?

One of the most discussed proposals to add two conference games this season is that rotating cross-divisional opponents will be used for the 2021 and 2022 seasons and just those two foes in the current 2020 eight-game conference. Will be added for slates. Each school.

Each SEC school typically plays eight league games, including six games against all divisional opponents, one game against a permanent cross-divisional opponent, and one game against a rotating cross-divisional opponent. Under this proposal, Alabama, for example, would add Florida and Vanderbilt from the SEC’s Eastern Division this season, while Georgia, for example, would add Arkansas and Mississippi State to the SEC’s Western Division.

Of note, this proposal would also mean that Alabama would face both Florida and Georgia during the regular season in 2020. Florida will face Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

Another proposal that has strong support is to use the power to determine a ranking system for the league and add two additional league games based on that system.

League athletic directors still have to approve any scheduling format.

“I’m sure it’s going to be fair and just,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “I believe we will be able to come up with something that everyone feels good about.”

What does this mean for the College Football Playoff?

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Thursday that the College Football Playoff is evaluating a new timetable for its selection committee meetings, and it will reconsider its protocol.

“Since normal, certain tools will not be used by the committee, such as results and results against common opponents, there will be limits this year,” Hancock said. “The strength of the schedule will also be evaluated differently.

“I don’t see the potential difference in the number of sports teams as an important factor,” he said. “The fact is that the committee has successfully dealt with almost every season.”

Regardless of what the season looks like, Hancock feels his committee will be ready.

“The fundamental mission has not changed – that is, rank the best four teams based on the programs they play. And that’s why the committee includes these 13 football experts.”

Now what does the Big 12 do?

For now, the Big 12 continues to expect a 12-game schedule, but the president will look into options during their Monday meeting. A conference source described ESPN as a nine-plus-one model (nine conference games, one non-conference), which has garnered significant support from athletic directors.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Ballsby told ESPN that his athletic directors would offer four or five different scheduling models for conference presidents.

Bolsby said, “If we need to take a decision as they wish, we will give them complete information.”

So when does the season actually begin?

Until now, there would not be a uniform start date for the college football season. Oklahoma currently has five games scheduled for “Week 0” on August 29, including Missouri State. The ACC will begin the weekend of Sept 12, while the SEC begins on 26 September. Pac-12 is expected to announce its start date and schedule on Friday. Sources told ESPN.com that the Pac-12 would go with a 10-game conference schedule to start Sept 19. Of course, this is all temporary.

Which marquee game makes it off the schedule?

One of the SEC’s most anticipated non-reliable games, Alabama vs. USC in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when the Pac-12 opted to play only conference games. The tide was looking for a possible replacement, but it became a silent point with the SEC vote.

In addition to traditional rivalry games, two other ACC-SEC games – Georgia vs. Virginia and Auburn vs. North Carolina – at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Other tricky games that won’t be played are: Texas at LSU, Arkansas at Notre Dame, Tennessee at Oklahoma, Missouri at BYU, Vanderbilt at Kansas State and Mississippi State at NC State.

These include Oregon-Ohio State, Oregon-North Dakota State, USC-Notre Dame, Michigan-Washington and many more.

What does Nick Saban think about all this?

Glad you asked. Alabama released a statement from the head coach, stating, “We are pleased to plan for the Southeastern Conference this season. We believe that keeping players and staff safe and still integrity Maintaining is the best option. Season. The safety of our team will be our top priority throughout the season, but we are also excited that our players will have the opportunity to compete and play this season. “

What’s next for the SEC and the rest of Power 5?

Instead of setting a date to see if the weather needs to be pushed back, commissioners, administrators and medical advisory groups need to start monitoring coronovirus outbreaks and trends in regions. The form must determine whether it is safe to play. No question August will be important for many reasons.

First, teams will begin physical contact practice next week – an important indicator on whether it will be safe to play. Second, most campuses will return to campus as well as the student body, and administrators still don’t know if it will affect the transition rates in their athletics teams. Athletic directors and coaches remain adamant, insisting on teaching their players on a daily basis about wearing masks, washing hands, social disturbances and avoiding large gatherings. It is impossible to keep players in a bubble, but trying to emphasize the importance of following all safety protocols is one way they can try to limit infection. Outbreaks have occurred outside athletics departments across the country, but there is also hope that they can be used as tea moments. Because if an infection occurs and spreads during the season, the game will be in danger.

What does this mean for a group of 5?

The group of 5 is waiting for Power 5 to announce their plans, so now those conferences have to decide if they only want to go to the conference, or are left with the other group in the vast majority of their schedules 5 or FCS teams scramble to fill holes.

For example, UCF canceled a game outright (Florida A&M) and would not play both North Carolina (home) and Georgia Tech (away). Since the SEC will not play non-circulation games, it opens the door for UCF to retain the Georgia Tech game but the decision will be in the hands of the Yellow Jackets.

There are so many other scheduling disadvantages for a group of 5 schools that a Power 5 game is required in a typical year. Boise State will not play Florida State. Memphis will not play at Purdue; Cincinnati loses Nebraska. Houston loses to Washington State. The Navy game against Notre Dame is in the air. It is safe to say that there is no slim hope of making a dent in the college football playoffs without a Power 5 game on the schedule for 2020. But the highest ranked group of 5 teams are guaranteed six games of the new year, whatever they may be, ultimately the overall record and conference strength will be the determining factors in the rankings.

ESPN senior authors Heather Dunich, Chris Low and Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.

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