It appears the coronavirus just ended the second longest interrupted series in college football.
A day after the ACC announced league teams will play a 10+1 schedule, which included a non-conference game that can be played in its home state, the SEC announced Thursday it will play just a 10-game conference only season.
The end result means no Clemson vs. South Carolina football game for the first time since the 1909 season. Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron for 111 straight seasons.
Clemson leads the all-time series 71-42-4 and has won the last six games in the series.
The 2020 SEC football season will be comprised of a 10-game Conference-only schedule and the SEC Football Championship Game will be played Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of Dec. 5. The schedule will include one mid-season open date for each school and an open date on Dec. 12 for all schools.
The move to a 10-game conference-only schedule eliminates marquee non-conference games like LSU-Texas, Oklahoma-Tennessee and Auburn-North Carolina, and long-standing ACC vs. SEC rivalry games between Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Louisville-Kentucky and Florida-Florida State.
“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,” said 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.”
This action was taken following extensive discussions and thorough deliberation among the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, Conference Office staff, and medical advisors, led by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.
“After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs,” said Sankey.
The decision to limit competition to Conference-only opponents and rescheduling the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals.
“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.”
Clemson was looking for its seventh straight win over the Gamecocks this year. A victory would have tied Clemson’s own series record of seven straight wins from 1934-’40. Last year, the Tigers beat South Carolina 38-3 in Columbia.
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