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Kirby Smart

ACC announces official changes to 2020 football schedule, canceling one of Georgia’s non-conference games

On Wednesday the ACC announced it would be moving to a 10-game plus one conference schedule model, meaning the league will play 10 conference games and one non-conference game as a part of its 2020 schedule.

With only one non-conference game for the conference, that means one of Georgia’s two non-conference games against ACC opponents will no longer happen. Georgia was set to play Virginia on Sept. 7 and Georgia Tech on Nov. 28.

The ACC statement does state that, “All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC.”

With the Georgia-Virginia game set to be in Atlanta, that would mean that if the Bulldogs were to play Virginia, they would have to travel to Virginia to do so. Playing Georgia Tech would fulfill that requirement for Georgia. Those two sides have met every year dating back to 1925.

The conference also announced that games will begin starting the week of Sept. 7-12. Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity previously indicated he would like to keep the Georgia Tech game on the schedule.

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”

The conference schedule put out by the ACC does leave the non-conference games as TBA. Notre Dame has also joined the conference for the 2020 season. The ACC schedule has built-in 13 weeks to play 11 games, with the ACC championship game set for either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19.

The ACC joins the Big Ten and the PAC-12 in alerting their 2020 college football schedules. The Big Ten and PAC-12 had previously announced it would be going to a conference-only schedule, but with no update on how many games each conference would play. There will also be no divisional play, with the top two teams in the conference playing for the conference title.

Georgia also has non-conference games scheduled against Lousiana-Monroe and East Tennessee State. The SEC and commissioner Greg Sankey have previously have said to expect a decision on the SEC schedule by late July.

The SEC presidents are set to meet on Thursday, with the 2020 football schedule being a topic of discussion. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported on Wednesday that the SEC is “moving closer to a confernce-only 10-game schedule.” If that were the case it would give Georgia two more SEC opponents, as well as remove the three remaining non-confernce foes that Georgia has on the 2020 Georgia football schedule.

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