It looks as though the SEC is moving closer to a decision on what its 2020 schedule will look like. According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, a "majority" of the conference athletic directors agreed to a 10-game, all-conference schedule during a virtual conference on Wednesday.
The SEC presidents will meet on Thursday to further discuss and potentially vote on the altered schedule according to Dellenger, though it's also plausible the conference could wait until next week before making any final decisions public. One potential reason for postponing an announcement could be predicated on what the NCAA decides at its board of governors meeting next week.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement after the report.
“It is not appropriate to respond to anonymous sources and speculation. We continue our discussions focused on the return of fall sports, including football,” Sankey said. “We will announce any decisions at the appropriate time.”
The NCAA board will meet on Aug. 4 where the fate of college athletics in the fall could be determined. Officials could decide to cancel all 22 fall championships, an option that NCAA president Mark Emmert hasn't ruled out.
"We continue to see in various areas spikes both in terms of viral spread, in terms of the percent of tests that are coming back positive, and hospitalizations and tragically even deaths," Emmert told ESPN this week. "In those areas where we know we have a lot of competition, a lot of sports going on, we need to see movement in the right direction and right now, it's starting to plateau in some areas, but it's not headed in the right direction."
A 10-game, all-conference schedule was one of the many options the SEC was considering, along with an eight or 10-game schedule that included one non-conference game. If the conference does decide to move forward with an all-conference schedule in 2020, it would eliminate LSU's non-conference game scheduled with Texas which was expected to be one of the premier matchups for the Tigers this season.
Last week, LSUCountry analyzed the potential matchups that would be most intriguing for LSU in a move to a conference only schedule. Dellenger and SI national writer Pat Forde reported that a conference only schedule would result in SEC teams scheduling opponents from the opposite division, meaning the Tigers would add games against two of the following teams: Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt or Missouri.
Again, nothing has officially been decided but 10 games is enough, according to Dellenger's report, to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The number of games, 10, is seen by many in college football as a potential minimum requirement to compete in the College Football Playoff this year, though that number is likely to fluctuate according to the impacts of the virus.
Check back on Thursday for the latest on what the SEC could potentially decide based off of the meeting that's scheduled with the presidents.