SEC non-conference football games canceled due to COVID-19

By Brian Wilmer -

On Thursday, the SEC became the latest Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference to officially announce they will play a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.

The move was made as the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues across the United States and has increased in states such as Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.

“After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey of the plan that will begin the 10-game season Sept. 26.

As a result of the decision, several high profile non-conference contests will unfortunately not be played this season, including USC vs. Alabama (in Arlington, Tex.), Ole Miss vs. Baylor (in Houston, Tex.). Virginia vs. Georgia (in Atlanta, Ga.), Auburn vs. North Carolina (in Atlanta, Ga.), Texas at LSU, Tennessee at Oklahoma, and a number of in-state ACC-SEC rivalry games.

Most of the games will probably be rescheduled for future seasons, while a few could be canceled altogether.

Below is the complete list of canceled non-conference games in 2020 involving teams from the SEC.

Week 1
Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
Charlotte at Tennessee
Eastern Washington at Florida
Coastal Carolina at South Carolina
USC vs. Alabama (at Arlington, Tex.)
Nevada at Arkansas
Alcorn State at Auburn
Texas-San Antonio at LSU
New Mexico at Mississippi State
Central Arkansas at Missouri
Abilene Christian at Texas A&M
Mercer at Vanderbilt

Week 2
Auburn vs. North Carolina (at Atlanta, Ga.)
East Tennessee State at Georgia
Mississippi State at NC State
East Carolina at South Carolina
Georgia State at Alabama
Texas at LSU
Tennessee at Oklahoma
SE Missouri State at Ole Miss
North Texas at Texas A&M
Arkansas at Notre Dame

Week 3
South Alabama at Florida
Kent State at Kentucky
Furman at Tennessee
Vanderbilt at Kansas State
Colorado at Texas A&M
LSU vs. Rice (at Houston, Tex.)

Week 4
ULM at Georgia
Southern Miss at Auburn
Tulane at Mississippi State
Eastern Michigan at Missouri
Colorado State at Vanderbilt

Week 5
Charleston Southern at Arkansas
Nicholls at LSU

Week 6
Eastern Illinois at Kentucky
Fresno State at Texas A&M
Missouri at BYU

Week 8
UConn at Ole Miss

Week 11
UT Martin at Alabama
UMass at Auburn

Week 12
New Mexico State at Florida
Wofford at South Carolina
Troy at Tennessee
ULM at Arkansas
Alabama A&M at Mississippi State
Louisiana at Missouri
Georgia Southern at Ole Miss
Louisiana Tech at Vanderbilt

Week 13
South Carolina at Clemson
Florida at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Georgia
Kentucky at Louisville

SEC Football Schedule

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Comments (4)

Covid has nothing to do with it nor the “safety” excuse for cancelling ooc games, not just the SEC but others too. We all know it’s about money. The big boys don’t want to pay guarantees with no or few fans. That’s all it is.

Thinking about those guarantees, the SEC just cancelled 20 games with guarantees that fall on the same day the SEC will be playing games. All of those are home games for the SEC teams, so there was no travel risk for the SEC schools. I’m sure the contracts have out clauses that would allow the SEC teams to void the contract for the weeks the SEC has concluded it’s not safe or advisable to play, but for the games in Week 4 and beyond, it seems like those teams have a basis to demand the termination fees in their game contracts. The SEC school can’t argue it’s unsafe to a play a football game at their stadium on that date.

My apologies — there was a versioning issue with the story. It’s been added back. Thanks for the heads-up.