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SEC trending toward conference-only football schedule

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If there is a season, it will be all-conference for the SEC.

intro Jeremy Chisenhall - Sea of Blue

For a few minutes, it looked like we could still Kentucky vs. Louisville on the gridiron this fall.

Earlier Wednesday, the ACC announced its plans for a football schedule this fall, which features 11 games, one of which can be of the nonconference variety.

That obviously would bode well for Louisville and Kentucky getting their nonconference rivalry matchup in (if there is a season), but it looks like those hopes are dying right as they were brought back to life.

According to Sports Illustrated, the SEC is now planning to have a 10-game conference-only football schedule this year. That obviously kills any hope of rivalries like Kentucky vs, Louisville, Florida vs. Florida State and Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, but the SEC appears to think this is the best way to go about a season marred by the coronavirus.

Of course, Kentucky and Louisville could still theoretically play in a bowl game since there are several SEC vs. ACC affiliated bowls. Heck, the two leagues may focus on making such a matchup happen if they’re both bowl eligible.

Here is an excerpt of the SI report:

The SEC is moving closer to an agreement on a conference-only schedule of 10 games, multiple sources told Sports Illustrated. During a virtual meeting on Wednesday, a majority of athletic directors approved the idea of an SEC-only, 10-game schedule. However, the schedule must be ratified by league presidents. SEC presidents are expected to meet virtually Thursday to seriously discuss the matter. It is unclear if they will vote then or delay a decision until next week.

And an explanation as to why the SEC is planning a conference-only schedule.

A conference-only slate allows for flexibility and for all games to feature a uniform testing protocol. The number of games, 10, is seen by many in college football as a potential minimum requirement to compete in the College Football Playoff this year, though that number is likely to fluctuate according to the impacts of the virus.

This is going to make it very challenging for Kentucky just to get bowl eligible this year, though the good news is they only need a minimum of a 5-5 record to be postseason eligible. It’s still unclear who would be the extra SEC opponents Kentucky will face. We broke it down earlier this offseason.