The SEC announced on Thursday it would be moving to a 10-game conference-only schedule for the 2020 season.
The first games will take place on Sept. 26, as the SEC announced. While the league said a full schedule will be announced at a later date, there is already one significant development with the schedule change.
For the first time since 1925, Georgia and Georgia Tech will not be playing due to the conference-only schedule.
“The 10-game SEC schedule provides us the best opportunity to play football as safely as possible in a Covid environment,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “It’s disappointing the schedule model does not make it possible to play Georgia Tech; however, we look forward to renewing that rivalry in 2021. “
The two rivals have traditionally met on the final week of the regular season. Georgia was not the only SEC team to lose a game against an in-state rival, as Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina also were dealt the same fate.
Georgia has beaten Georgia Tech in each of the past three seasons, with the 2019 contest being a 52-7 victory for Georgia.
The decision to go to a 10-game conference only schedule was made by the SEC presidents on Thursday. Georgia president Jere Morehead also shared his thoughts on the decision.
“It was clear in our meeting today that this delay would be beneficial to our student-athletes and promote the safe and orderly return to campus for our student body in August,” Morehead said. “Having some separation between the earlier reopening of our campuses and the later start of the football season should be helpful.”
The SEC now joins the Pac-12 and Big Ten in going to a conference-only schedule for 2020. The ACC announced on Thursday it would be going to a 10-game conference schedule plus one non-conference game. With the SEC’s decision, Georgia Tech will now have to find another in-state program to play, per the ACC’s announcement.
As for the additional games added to Georgia’s schedule, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger stated that the league office will use strength of schedule to determine which two teams get added to the schedule.
I was spitballing about the two additional SEC games in 2020.
I'm now told that a separate scheduling model – composed by the league office using strength of schedule – will determine the two additional opponents for 2020. https://t.co/hFWO0Caljp
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 30, 2020
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