ACC Football Developments And What They Could Mean For The SEC

Jonathan Williams

The worldwide pandemic has brought a whirlwind of chaos and uncertainty into this world including college football. Today, two major developments have occurred in the Atlantic Coast Conference and they could be used as precedents for the SEC.

SCHEDULING

Brett McMurphy of Stadium reported today that the ACC is going to an 11 game schedule. The 11 games will consist of 10 conference games and one out of conference game that must played in the state lines of each respective program.

Dawgs Daily on SI.com expects the SEC to follow the same model when they announce their plans. Speculation is that this announcement could come as soon as Friday. The ACC and SEC will be able to keep natural rivalries alive with this model as Georgia and Georgia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina, and others will be able to take short trips and play out of conference games.

Another interesting development worth noting in the ACC is that Notre Dame is virtually becoming an honorary member of the conference in 2020 and will be eligbile to play in the ACC Championship game. This has major playoff implications as Clemson now has an actual competitive challenge in conference. This is huge in a year that straight conference schedules favor the SEC that is largely seen as the strongest conference in the country. If every school in the ACC has at least one loss, the chances that multiple SEC teams get in the Playoff go way up.

OPTING OUT

Due to there being so many unknowns as to what the college football season will look like Virginia Tech defensive back, Caleb Farley, announced that he will be opting out of the season and turning pro. 

During his two seasons with the team, Farley started 23 games for the Hokies including 25 career pass deflections, six interceptions, and 56 total tackles. NFL insider Adam Schefter also mentioned in a tweet that Farley was a projected first-round pick for next year's draft so this is a tremendous loss for the Hokies. 

With Farley being the first college football player to opt-out of the season it most likely won't be the last to do so either. Especially for players who are in a similar situation as Farley where a future professional career may not be worth the risk of playing with everything that is going on in the world. 

It should also be noted that enough players follow this trend then the NCAA will be forced to make a decision about how to approach eligibility for players. If a senior decides that they don't feel comfortable playing then should they be granted another year of eligibility? The spring athletes this past year received an extra year so possibly fall athletics could see something similar for the upcoming season. 

There have also been talks of possibly pushing the college football season to the spring and if that plan were to go into effect fans should expect players opting to be a widespread thing across the league. With a spring season being played so close to the start of the NFL draft, a lot of upperclassmen players may not be willing to risk getting injured in a delayed season that could hurt their draft stock. Players like Richard LeCounte, Monty Rice, and Eric Stokes who are all potential top-round picks could also be considering sitting out the upcoming season if they feel the risk is not worth it.  

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