South Carolina football: SEC moves to conference-only schedule in 2020

The SEC is expected to move to an all-conference slate in the shortened 2020 season.

Per a report from AL.com, the SEC appears to be moving to a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The league is also expected to move the season start date back to September 26th, which is three weeks after the original 2020 open date of September 5th.

There were reports of the SEC working together with other leagues to schedule out-of-conference contests, but that idea has apparently fallen through. The Gamecocks will now play its entire season against Southeastern Conference foes.

The ACC revealed its plan yesterday to move to an 11-game slate that included one out-of-conference opponent. That left room for hope that the annual South Carolina versus Clemson rivalry would still be played this year. This latest report, though, ends that speculation. It now looks as though the nation’s second longest uninterrupted rivalry will not be played in 2020, ending a streak of 111 straight meetings.

It also cancels in-state rivalries between Florida and Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech, and Louisville and Kentucky, along with other marquee matchups like LSU versus Texas, that were scheduled to occur early in the year.

This move coincides with earlier decisions of the Big Ten and PAC 12 to move to conference-only scheduling in 2020. The Big XII has not yet announced its decision for the upcoming season. With the later start date, the SEC championship game has pushed back, as well, with a tentative date set for December 19th.

A schedule without Clemson will certainly be unique for sports fans around the state, as the rivalry matchup has been played every year since 1909. A full SEC schedule is expected to be released at a later date.