The SEC, of which Arkansas is a member, has announced its members will play a 10-game, conference-only football schedule beginning Sept. 26. The new schedules will be announced later.

Here’s the SEC release. I’ll leave all the ins and outs of scheduling to others.

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I still don’t get why an elimination of a couple of games and restricting competition to conference members is somehow a big step toward safety. Conference games, not to mention intrasquad practice, still require blowing spit around.

I do get why they’re having a season.

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No announcement yet on cross-country, volleyball and soccer, if that gives you an idea of SEC priorities. The release from Commissioner Greg Sankey doesn’t mention the Benjamins.

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This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” Sankey said. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities..

 

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.

 

The decision to limit competition to Conference-only opponents and rescheduling the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals.

 

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 occu. 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.

 

Not to be a spoilsport, but … Remember that report I mentioned in which a group of health experts recommended lockdowns in 13 states because of exceedingly high rates of new COVID-19 cases? Nine of them are SEC states: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas. Only Kentucky and Missouri didn’t make the honor roll.