Another major decision has been made with regards to the 2020 season, as the Big Ten announced that it would be moving to a conference-only schedule for the 2020 season. The new was first reported by The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach.
“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority,” the conference said in a statement.
“To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports.”
The league added that more specific details would be released at a later time as decisions continue to be evaluated.
That means that big-time matchups such as Ohio State-Oregon or Michigan-Washington won’t be happening. The Big Ten traditionally plays a nine-game conference schedule, but it is unknown at this point if any further changes to the schedule will be made. According to ESPN’s Heather Dinich and Mark Schlabach, there is “overwhelming support” support for a 10-game conference schedule.
There were no Big Ten-SEC regular-season matchups on schedule for the 2020 regular season.
As for what it means for Georgia, Georgia is still planning to play its non-conference games, which will be against Virginia, East Tennessee State, UL-Monroe and Georgia Tech. The ACC did announce on Wednesday that all events would be postponed to Sept. 1. Georgia and Virginia are set to play on Sept. 7.
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk told reporters on Thursday that a decision from the SEC as regards to a conference only schedule would come at the end of July. One of the differences between the SEC and Big Ten is that the SEC traditionally plays an 8-game conference slate, whereas the Big Ten plays nine games.
Sterk did add that option exists to add more conference games, meaning Georgia would have the possibility of playing more SEC West foes.
If the SEC were to move to a conference only schedule it would mean games like Georgia-Virginia, Alabama-USC and Tennessee-Oklahoma would be wiped off the books. It also means the annual rivalry games, such as Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State and South Carolina-Clemson would also no longer occur as well.
The eight SEC games for Georgia in 2020 would be Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri and Kentucky.
At the moment, Georgia and other college football teams are still in the voluntary workout portion of the offseason. Schools like Ohio State and North Carolina have recently paused their offseason workout plans. The Ivy League also announced on Wednesday that it would be canceling all fall sports for the 2020-2021 calendar year.
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