Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Bob Andres/AJC
Georgia coach Kirby Smart is entering his fifth year at Georgia.

How the Georgia football 2020 schedule has changed after moving to SEC-only slate

The SEC made a number of announcements yesterday that will change how the 2020 season looks. This naturally leads to a lot of questions, specifically with how all of it relates to Georgia football.

Below we attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions as well as what it all means for the upcoming season.

How many games will Georgia football play in the 2020 season?

The SEC announced on Thursday Georgia and all SEC teams will play 10 games, with all of them being conference-only.

So will Georgia football play Georgia Georgia Tech?

No, this will be the first season since 1924 that the two sides do not meet.

“It’s unfortunate,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said.  “And you’re seeing it really around college athletes this year. There’s so many abnormal situations that are in play that will certainly create a lot of disappointment and unfortunate.

“The pandemic has just created so many oddities that a lot of things are almost out of your control. It’s just one of the things that are unfortunate when you’re in a situation like that. It’s just unfortunate.”

Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins weighed in on the subject as well. The ACC schedule had allowed teams to have one non-conference game in addition to the 10 conference games.

“I am disappointed that our players won’t have the opportunity to play our in-state rivalry game this season, but respect the SEC’s decision,” Collins said. “We will continue to focus on controlling what we can control in a structured environment with thoughtful protocols in place and staying ready to go out and compete this fall, should public health guidance allow it.

“All we need to know is where and when, and we will be ready to Put the Ball Down and compete.”

So which teams will Georgia football play this season?

The Bulldogs will play the eight SEC teams from their original 2020 SEC schedule: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

The conference will also add two more SEC West teams to the Georgia football schedule.

Which SEC West teams will get added to Georgia football 2020 schedule?

It is not yet known. It had been floated that the SEC could add the next two teams in the SEC West rotation to the schedule. For Georgia, that means the Bulldogs would have a home game against Arkansas and a road game against Mississippi State.

But Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said that nothing has been finalized on that matter. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger stated that a strength of schedule model would be used to determine the additional two teams.

So when is Georgia football’s first game?

The SEC will start its season on Sept. 26. That is after the ACC’s proposed start date of the week of Sept. 7-12. The delayed start date gives the conference more time to see what kind of effect integrating students onto campus would have on teams.

“We certainly listened to our medical professionals and felt like a later start would really put us in a better position from a health standpoint and be able to observe what’s going on with others who may start on time, we’d be able to see what happens in the NFL, just have more date to compare before we started,” McGarity said. “So, all those things lined up and certainly there were a lot of robust discussions in the room but we all planned it and agreed that the 10-game schedule was where we needed to end up.”

Will Georgia football games previously scheduled be moved?

The Alabama game certainly will, as it was set for Sept. 19. Georgia also will have to get a new opponent for Nov. 28, when the Bulldogs were set to play Georgia Tech. Georgia was set to play Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 26, but that date is now open and needs to be filled as well.

So while some games may remain in their original spots, there will be some changes to the Georgia football schedule.

 

So when will the Georgia football 2020 schedule be announced?

It is not yet known when. SEC associate commissioner Herb Vincent indicated on Friday that it was not a done deal on the schedule being put together.

Will Georgia football and Florida still be play in Jacksonville?

As of right now, yes that is the plan. McGarity explained why that is the case.

“I talked to Scott (Florida AD Scott Stricklin) and one thing we don’t want to do is play Florida here with a limited crowd and then go to Gainesville in 2021 with 93,000 fans,” McGarity said. “I don’t think we want to be in that position. Right now, unless something changes, that game will be in Jacksonville.”

Will there be fans allowed in Sanford Stadium for Georgia football in 2020?

As of this writing, the SEC is attempting to try and find a solution to where they will allow some fans to attend games in 2020, though obviously it will be in a limited capacity.

“I think the conference will set some expectations,” McGarity said. “I don’t think they’ll get down to particular numbers but the expectation of social distancing, the expectation of masking, the expectations that we will follow CDC guidelines. I think you’ve seen what’s happened in some NFL stadiums and I would expect probably college football to  mirror that.”

Will there still be a 2020 SEC championship game?

Yes, though the date for the game has been pushed back to Dec. 19 from its original Dec. 5 date. The final week of the regular season will be Dec. 5 now.  The game is still set to be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

What, if any, bye weeks will Georgia football have for the 2020 season?

Every SEC team will get two bye weeks during the 2020 season. One will definitively come on Dec. 12, one week after the regular season ends and one week before the SEC championship game. The other bye week will come at some point during the middle of the season during a three-week window, as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on the Paul Finebaum Show. That will be finalized when the schedule gets announced.

When will practices for Georgia football begin?

The NCAA is still allowing teams to begin fall practice on their originally scheduled dates. For most teams that is Aug. 7. For Georgia, because their game against Virginia was set for Sept. 7, the Bulldogs will be allowed to start practice on Aug. 9, 29 days from when the first game was first scheduled.

The SEC and individual teams can still move back the start of practices if they decided to do so. Georgia is currently in the walk-through period of the NCAA’s preseason calendar. The Bulldogs are alotted up to six hours a week of walk-throughs with a football, six hours of meetings with coaches and eight hours of weight training and conditioning.

What are other conferences doing for the 2020 College football season?

The ACC announced on Wednesday it will go to a 10-game conference schedule as well as have one non-conference game. The conference opponents were announced but the non-conference foes were not.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 have both said they will go conference only for the 2020 season. Neither has said if they will expand their conference schedules, but it has been reported that both would like to go to 10-game conference schedules. The Big Ten is expecting to announce something next week on starting fall camp.

The Big 12 has said it still plans on playing 12 games.

How will all this impact the College Football Playoff?

That is not known at this time. The two College Football Playoff semifinal games are set for Jan. 1, with one being at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the other in New Orleans.

More Georgia football stories from DawgNation

We have a new way to comment on our DawgNation stories. To do so, you must be a registered user on the DawgNation forum. If you haven’t registered, please go to the Forum homepage on DawgNation and look for “register” on the right side.