Well, COVID continues to wreak havoc on the sports world.
This time, the best conference in college football is the victim.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) July 30, 2020
What Does this Mean?
As you can see from the tweet, the football season will begin for the SEC on 9/25.
The season will not be bubbled, at this point, but will only consist on games within the conference.
While postseason play continues to be up in the air, we still will get a SEC championship game at this point.
Hopefully, as is scheduled today, we will get that game on December 19th in Atlanta.
This gives us about 17 weeks of high end college football. It will be a treat.
We will lose some classic inter conference rivalry games, but a this point we should be happy to have football.
Some minor mid majors will lose some revenue as well, with the loss of a marquee SEC match up on the docket.
The Corona situation is still being monitored, as the press release mentions, but at least we have something tangible to look forward to.
Could it all go up in smoke? Yes.
I think not having a bubble may cause some serious issues. However, creating a bubble for college sports would be inherently more tricky that the pros. These are “student” athletes after all.
The idea of the schedule is to maintain “maximum flexibility.” This means that should changes be needed, the SEC can respond quickly and effectively, allowing us to still (hopefully) get some football regardless of hot the epidemic progresses (or at least, to the best of the leagues ability to allow football).
“We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur,” Sankey said. “It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures.”
While this gives some clarity to what SEC football may look like in the fall, I remain skeptical.
If the MLB is the test case for bubble-less sports, we may be in trouble. We won’t have a vaccine by then and I suspect we will have some outbreaks among teams.
This could eliminate some games, and more importantly, endanger some student athletes.
I would be very surprised if some athletes don’t choose to redshirt (if they can) or sit out the season.
More to come, of course, but this is an extremely fluid situation still.
At least we have a picture of what is possible.
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-Brent Buckley (@bigbucksbuckley on twitter)