The 2020 SEC college football season will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
With the SEC moving to a 10 game conference-only schedule, it means there will be two fewer games in the regular season than what we’re accustomed to seeing.
But while there will be fewer games, there will be more intrigue. More excitment. More meaningful games.
The Athletic’s David Ubben pointed out something this week that I think all of us confront at some point each September. Everyone is always geared up for college football season to start and then the first few weeks are full of a lot of fluff. Sure, there are a few “big games”, but for the most part we’re getting matchups like the Tennessee Vols vs Chattanooga. Snoozers that are over by halftime (minus the Georgia State debacle for the Vols last season….there’s always an outlier).
From The Athletic (via Ubben):
I’m always ecstatic to have college football back in my life every September, but I’m always quickly confronted by the reality that in the first month of the season, there are usually only a handful of good games happening on any given Saturday. Not so anymore. This is going to be high-impact football every single week with no time to breathe. It’s going to be a lot like the NFL in that respect
Every single week in the SEC this season there’s going to be meaningful, exciting games. It’s going to be a lot of fun for fans.
When things eventually return to normal (in 2021, hopefully), the assumption would be that the SEC returns to business as usual.
But I think the uniqueness of the 2020 schedule is going to force the SEC to consider making some major changes.
It’s going to be tough for fans to go back to watching the fluff games in September after getting to experience an SEC only schedule.
So what’s the solution?
Well, I offered my thoughts on how the NCAA could revise schedules for the future, while still funding group of five programs and FCS programs. It would be a major overhaul, so I don’t anticipate it’s something that will actually happen.
But even if the NCAA doesn’t make changes, the SEC could still make changes. At the very least, the SEC should add a ninth conference game. There are too many great matchups we’re missing out on in the current format.
Look, I love that Tennessee plays Alabama every year. That game, because of the history, needs to continue. But in the current format, because the Vols and Bama play every year, it means we rarely get to see Tennessee and LSU play. Or Florida and Auburn. Georgia and Alabama, etc.
There would still be some non-competitive games on the schedule, but adding a ninth game would at least give us an additional week of exciting games. If the extra conference games are staggered, it would make having an Alabama-New Mexico State matchup a lot easier to handle when you know Georgia and LSU are playing that same week.
I have no idea if the SEC will decide to make any changes or not beyond the 2020 season. But there’s certainly money to be made by adding more compelling games. It should at least be a serious consideration at this point.
Featured image via Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports