As college sports moves into its most fluid moments since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, whether or not there will be any non-conference college football games is the biggest topic among the Power Five conferences as the Patriot League joined the Ivy League on Monday in pushing fall sports back to the spring.
So far, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have canceled non-conference football games, but after some reports on Friday that the ACC the might join those conferences, there hasn’t been any movement from the ACC since then.
A Monday report from Steven Godfrey at Banner Society helps shed some light on why — the SEC is trying to work with the ACC and the Big 12 to play one non-conference game this year. With four games scheduled against the Big 12 and four games scheduled against the ACC, the SEC could secure eight of the necessary 14 games quickly while working with Big 12 and ACC teams that had non-conference games against Big Ten or Pac-12 opponents canceled.
For Texas, the obvious implication of this report is that there’s impetus from the SEC to preserve the game against LSU in Baton Rouge as part of a larger conference plan to salvage a non-conference game for each league school.
Iowa State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia all lost scheduled non-conference games against Big Ten or Pac-12 opponents, but the Big 12 doesn’t have enough teams to fill the schedule, so the SEC still needs four or five ACC teams to participate in this reported scheduling alliance in order for every SEC team to preserve one non-conference game.
The lack of movement in the last several days from the ACC is a promising development for the Big 12 and SEC to preserve that game before conference play. Unfortunately, the larger pictures reveals increasing fatalism about college football this fall, as told to SI.