LSU's long-anticipated non-conference date with Nicholls is canceled after the SEC League Offices announced a conference-only 2020 football season.
The league announced today that all 14 members will play in 2020, but they will play a 10-game conference schedule only, a season which will begin on September 26, 2020.
The season will have 11 weeks. Each team will have one bye week.
The SEC Championship Game has been pushed back from December 5 to December 19 to allow for the postponement of the season's start.
The season will end on December 5, so the two teams playing in the SEC Title Game will both be coming off of a bye.
"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," 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 decision was made after a series of virtual meetings over the past several days in which SEC Presidents, Chancellors, ADs, SEC officials and others heard from medical advisors about the plan to safely play in the 2020 season.
"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 built-in bye week before the SEC Championship Game is by design and will be used as a reschedule date for any games that may need to be postponed due to COVID or hurricane season.
"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."
The SEC said this is the CURRENT plan, but it may not be the FINAL plan.
The league will continue to study COVID trends in the United States before making a final call.
The SEC will release a final schedule in the coming days, but teams will play their full 8-game SEC schedule and then their next two future opponents from the opposition division in the schedule rotation.
For LSU, that will mean games with all SEC West opponents, as well as games with Florida, South Carolina and now Tennessee and Kentucky.