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SEC moves to conference-only football schedule for 2020

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In a greatly anticipated football decision, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced on Thursday that the 2020 football season will be played on a 10-game, conference-only schedule with Sept. 26 slated to be opening day around the SEC.

The SEC championship game will be played Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta where it was originally scheduled to be played on Dec. 5. Each SEC team will have one mid-season open date and all 14-member schools will have an open date on Dec. 12.

In the announcement, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, "This will allow our universities to focus on the healthy return of their campus communities and the gradual re-introduction of athletics as the 14-members of the SEC continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19.”

For the Georgia, this means the Bulldogs will miss out on playing Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to open the season. Now, the Bulldogs will open the season against Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 26. With the loss of non-conference games, for the first time since 1925, Georgia will not play archrival Georgia Tech.

“The 10-game SEC schedule provides us the best opportunity to play football as safely as possible in a COVID environment. It’s disappointing the schedule model does not make it possible to play Georgia Tech; however, we look forward to renewing that rivalry in 2021. I do want to commend Commissioner Sankey, his staff, and the University presidents and chancellors for their leadership in continuing to navigate these challenging issues,” said Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity. “We look forward to communicating our plan for attendance at home games in Sanford Stadium at a later date. We are thankful for the patience our devoted season ticket holders have shown during this time. We are committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for our fans that will respect and adhere to all COVID guidelines.”

The Eatonton Messenger and the Lake Oconee News will have complete coverage of this announcement on Thursday, Aug. 6.