The SEC has decided on its 2020 football schedule. After weeks of sorting through options, the conference is scrapping the non-conference schedule.
The Big Ten was the first to make the massive decision, followed by the Pac-12. It was only a matter of time before other conferences made similar decisions.
The SEC programs traditionally only plays eight conference games per season. But after cancelling the non-conference schedule, SEC teams will play 10 conference games this season, a notable addition to what many previously consider “light” conference lineups.
The SEC will have to decide on two additional conference opponents for each program, but how will conference leaders decide on such opponents? Strength of schedule will reportedly be a determining factor in the SEC’s scheduling decisions, per college football insider Ross Dellenger.
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
This is the only feasible plan for the SEC. Any other plan would create lopsided schedules for teams within the conference.
For example, the Alabama Crimson Tide are already slotted to play Georgia, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn.
Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt are the opponents Alabama isn’t currently scheduled to face, but two of them will be factored into the Tide’s 2020 schedule. Given Alabama is already facing SEC powerhouses LSU and Georgia, it’s unlikely a team like Florida will be added to the Tide’s schedule.
The SEC is expected to release the extra portion of the conference schedules in coming weeks.