The SEC is Winning the 2020 College Football Season

Jon Joseph Editorials 27 Comments


Be it eight conference games or 10 conference games, no conference can game a schedule like our buddies in the SEC.

Is anyone surprised at the ‘equitable,’ we aren’t scheduling for the college football COVID playoff, two-game SEC add-ons? Full disclosure. I use the word ‘equitable’ here as I do in regards to Livin’ Large Larry’s remuneration.

The COVID add-on games were Zoomed from the SEC’s Birmingham, Alabama, headquarters to the SEC head coaches (HCs) the week of August 17th, in the year of our COVID overlord, 2020. Not surprisingly, the conference HCs who do not live in the SEC college football stratosphere came away feeling far more ‘Zoomed’ than did their usual College Football Playoff-suspect brothers.

Notwithstanding the fact that 26 B1G and Pac-12 teams are sitting the season out, thereby lessening the run for the final four, why give our fellow conference ‘suckers’ an even break?

As the boys on the Saturday Down South blog opined, “Had the add-on games been announced at an in-person meeting in Birmingham and not via Zoom, someone would likely have had their family jewels rearranged by a hob-nailed boot.” Bill Connolly, the creator of the SP+ formula and who is now scribing for The Athletic, had a number of questions and comments about the SEC, 2020, and conference-only games.

To wit: “I’m not saying the SEC tried to make sure its champion ends up with a great record, I’m just saying if that was the goal and using my pre-season SP+ rankings, giving Alabama the conference’s 8th best team, Kentucky and 12th best team, Missouri, giving LSU, Missouri and 14th, and last place, Vanderbilt, giving Georgia 11th place Mississippi State and 13th best, Arkansas, and also handing Florida, Arkansas, would be a perfect way to go about it.”


The LSU Tigers looked primed for a dominant encore season to their 2019 title victory even without Joe Burrow.

Before the COVID-altered schedule, Missouri was projected by Connolly to go 6-6; now, 3-7. At least MIZZOU gets to play ‘conference’ foe, LSU, for the second time since it joined the SEC in 2012. And if this isn’t exciting enough, in 2023, the LSU Tigers will make their first visit to the Columbia, Missouri, Tigers; which is nice.

Another team with a new HC, Arkansas, looked good to win at least four games pre-COVID. Now, Arkansas is scheduled to play SP+ preseason nationally ranked teams, 1, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 19. New Hogs coach Sam Pittman‘s squad will be at least an eight-point under-hog in every game this season.

Welcome to the SEC, Sammy, and have a really nice day!

But Sammy is looking at smooth sailing compared to Admiral Derek Mason‘s Vanderbilt Commodores. Mason might as well be piloting a submarine. Vandy is at least a 13-point leaker coming into every game.

Abandon Ship!

But there is good news! At 0-10, neither the Hogs nor the Dores, will have to spring for post-game Gatorade showers. And in Vanderbilt’s case, limiting home game attendance to 25% of capacity will be nothing new.

When the disgruntled and de-grits-ed SEC HCs inquired as to how the two add-on games were determined, they were given the following, in-depth, detailed answer.

“Well, why don’t y’all just hush-your-mouth!”

Hey, if you can game an eight-game conference schedule, why not a 10-game conference schedule?

And the beat goes on, y’all; it goes on.


The Irish’s schedule could only get so much easier post COVID.

Let’s not forget half-pregnant ACC member, Notre Dame. The Domers are college football, All-Covid-Connected in 2020 — with a chance not only to play Clemson at home, but to play the South Carolina variety of Tigers in an ACC Champ Game. Still, no need in 2020, including the potential conference champ game, to have to play more than 12 pre-playoff games. So, it’s all good in South Bend.

As a full-time member of the ACC in 2020, the Irish’s schedule is easier, on paper of course, than the pre-COVID schedule.

The 2020 projected win percentage for all Power 5 teams still scheduled to play (per SP+) dropped with the cancellation of out-of-conference games; except for Notre Dame’s. And in this regard, Notre Dame does deserve scheduling kudos.

The Irish went from playing three projected Top 20 teams to two. It also went from playing six Top 50 teams to playing five. Not sure what this says about the ACC football? Actually, I am sure about what this says about ACC football; it stinks!

With only one and not four out-of-conference games in 2020, how many ACC teams will finish .500 or better? Will any games even be played this fall? North Carolina, due to numerous positive COVID tests, has already sent its student body back home. But its ‘student’-athletes are going to stay on campus and play fall sports?

Seems to me that me that the final nail may about to be hammered into the ‘student’-athlete coffin.

Stay safe, one and all.

Jon Joseph
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo from Twitter

Natalie Liebhaber, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

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OT. Ty Thompson now ranked a five-star by Rivals.

Yes and that is a RIVALS 5-Star ranking, of which is notable. Rivals Recruiting Director Mike Farrell says,…

Thompson is a thick quarterback with a quick release and excellent arm strength. He can also beat you with his feet and keeps defenses off balance.”

Our national ranking with Rivals did not change at No. 5 and the teams ahead of us have more verbals than Oregon’s 18 at this point. The only exception is Ohio State who also has 18, but two five star players.

THIS has to turn the heads of Foreman and JT, (two five star players seriously considering Oregon) as now that another fellow 5-Star has gone to the Ducks in the this recruiting cycle…??


With the COVID dwindling and other schools playing, recruiting will take a hit, like it or not. Unless of course some of those schools that are playing have to shut down their football mid season if/when too many players catch the virus.


I’m actually going to respectfully disagree on recruiting taking a hit. I mean if you look at the fact that several players are even within the last week or so saying they’re finishing HS early so they can enroll at Oregon, knowing there isn’t a season this year (2021, spring, maybe??), and with the yout’s these days being way more conscientious about social issues than most of us were in our HS and college days, I don’t think Oregon is going to take any more of a “hit” than they do every year…maybe one or two last minute flips heading somewhere else, and us picking up one or two surprises.


Yea, I’m thinking this year may be set but suspect next year it may fall off a little. We’ll have to wait and see how the recruiters from both sides pitch it.


Overall I like the NCAA ruling but it just means that those in line waiting their turn will have to wait longer.


I spent a year in South Caroline and the best I can say about it is “ouch”. Never again.

I wonder how many new cases will be “acceptable” before they will call a stop to it ??


Yes Charles admit it your getting 5 STAR fever. LOL and honestly Sir I believe we can reel them both in. First though they have to have a season eventually.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Ha! You are right, my friend, and I love your thoughts. Boy if we did…whew!


Honestly when it all comes down to it the SEC,ACC and the rest of whoever is out there that hasn’t cancelled will not be playing FOOTBALL this fall. What makes me pretty ticked off is why isn’t the NCAA putting a end to any of this ridiculousness? OH yeah here’s why because the SEC pays them more money than everybody else.

Sorry but there is no reason for them to even be contemplating playing because you know there will be players contacting COVID 19 and then what are they gonna do and especially if any player were to die then all bets are off and you know that their parents would be hiring a attorney right away and then end of story.

I get why the PAC and Big 10 cancelled because these players were getting ridiculous with their demands so they talked it over and smarter minds came through. NFL I’m also surprised they are even gonna have a season.


This point of view will likely be unpopular, but I don’t fault the SEC for moving forward. They have a testing regimen and a plan to move forward. The NBA, MLB, WNBA, MLS among others have shown there is a way to move forward that minimizes risk.

If the SEC is able to make this work, it will put them at the forefront of recruiting. I don’t think that #WeAreUnited is going away. Larry Scott granted their wish to sit out the season and keep their scholarships. I predict that ESPN will continue to keep the issue alive and the PAC 12 will only have moved the negotiations to 2021.

What kind of toll will this take on the PAC 12? By next spring, the players will have been off the field for a YEAR or more. I don’t know the ins and outs of what they are able to do with workouts, but I can’t see that they will be as ‘game ready’ after so long off the field.

I think PAC 12 athletics are on the financial brink. The lost revenue of 2020 is the first hit. Then, #WeAreUnited… the athletic departments may not have much room to give. Will it get messy? Recruits are still interested, but will that change?

The SEC may come out head and shoulders above the rest for years to come.


I think you are mostly correct on things. This problem will have lasting ramifications for not only money but recruiting as well. The 2021 season will not be “back to normal” but will be “back to normal” with baggage hanging all around unsettled.

The schools that decided to play this fall will come out ahead of those that hold off for the spring. The only thing that will prevent that is if they get sued like some have suggested but lawsuits take years and years to come to settlements, long after they will be forgotten by recruits and fans.

Jon, I thank you for the informative and entertaining article and for what it reminds me of; whoever plays is going to get their rear-end sued off before it is over….


I’m not a betting person, but I’m guessing that the SEC season will not last beyond 3 weeks.


Anyone declaring themselves the 2020 “national champion” will be as awesome as the first one ever when Princeton and Rutgers were both declared the national champions, with records of 1-1, each.


Now that is pure optimism.


Thanks for this Jon, and I want to also join in welcoming Sammy to the SEC. Word was put out some months ago that no changes would be made to the protocol used by the committee to select the teams for the, “Playoff”, so it’s really irrelevant that only the SEC and the ACC are playing. Oh, and yeah, what would the “Playoff” be without Oklahoma from the B 12?


Where oh where is college football going with this year of 2020 COVID ?? Heres an idea, let’s let any team that wants to play football, pencil in their own schedule for the year and see how many complete the season with no losses while playing all games at home.

Welcome to the SEC.

Interesting read Jon, thanks for it.


Two SEC teams playing in the Rose Bowl. What a degradation for the rose.


Yes, with apology to the Bard, “a Rose (Bowl)by any other name, (CFP semi-final site) is not as sweet.”