So much for the grudge match in Baton Rouge.
The SEC’s Thursday decision to cancel non-conference games and move back the season’s start to late September means that the Texas Longhorns won’t have a chance to get revenge against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge for last season’s thrilling 45-38 win by the Tigers in Austin.
“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,” SEC commissioner Greg 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.”
The Big 12 is now the only Power Five conference that hasn’t announced plans for its non-conference schedule, but it seems like only a matter of time until commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his member institutions follow other conferences in moving to a conference-only schedule or a 10-game schedule with one non-conference. Until the SEC’s decision, the ACC had planned to play a plus-one model for its non-conference schedule, but that’s now in question, too.
One remaining hope for a non-conference game is that the ACC and Big 12 could agree to a scheduling alliance for this season to maintain that plus-one model for each conference and allow Big 12 teams to play 10 games to match the SEC.
Or Texas could simply keep USF or UTEP on the schedule in an echo of the ACC’s plan to allow non-conference play only in the member institution’s home state.
Another possibility is the Big 12 making a move with BYU similar to the agreement between the ACC and Notre Dame that allows the Fighting Irish to join the conference in football. The Cougars have already lost six games to cancelation this season