Georgia to play a 10-game conference-only football schedule in 2020
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Georgia to play a 10-game conference-only football schedule in 2020

Georgia Bulldogs
Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs will play a 10-game conference-only football schedule in 2020, according to an announcement by the SEC on Thursday.

“It was clear in our meeting today that this delay would be beneficial to our student athletes and promote the safe and orderly return to campus for our student body in August,” said UGA President Jere. W. Morehead. “Having some separation between the earlier reopening of our campuses and the later start of the football season should be helpful.”

Georgia, and the rest of the SEC, will begin the 2020 football season on Saturday, Sept. 26, which is three weeks later than originally scheduled. The Bulldogs will not play their non-conference schedule, which consisted of Virginia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., and ETSU, ULM, and Georgia Tech, each at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

This will be the first season that Georgia and Georgia Tech haven’t played Clean, Old Fashioned Hate since 1924.

“The 10-game SEC schedule provides us the best opportunity to play football as safely as possible in a Covid environment,” said Greg McGarity, Georgia’s J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics. “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.

“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 2020 SEC Football Championship Game has been pushed back two weeks and will now be played on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. The 2020 SEC football schedule will also include one mid-season open date and an open date on Dec. 12 for all 14 schools.

“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 occur,” Sankey said. “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.”

A revised SEC football schedule for the 2020 season will be released at a later date.

The conference did not announce the two extra SEC opponents for each team, but some have suggested or speculated that it will be the next two rotating crossover opponents for each team. That’s “total speculation and spitballing” according to Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin.

Georgia’s crossover opponents for the next two seasons are vs. Arkansas in 2021 and at Mississippi State in 2022.

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