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Are we playing college football? A guide to the upcoming conference and NCAA meetings

Here’s the order of operations that might determine if we’re going to have college football this fall. All plans subject to change, and quickly

Gemon Green of the Michigan Wolverines blocks on special teams against Josh Jobe of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Vrbo Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium on January 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: The SEC has approved a 10-game schedule for now. Play is to start on September 26th, the SEC Championship Game would be December 19th.

In the on-going saga of whether college football will happen in the fall of 2020, some decision making begins today. Will we see teams head to training camp and begin practicing?

Keep in mind any decisions made below are subject to change, as breakouts of Covid-19 in college athletics facilities have been far and wide. But now it’s decision time.

Here are the upcoming meetings where athletic directors, presidents, and conference commissioners will plot a path forward.

  • The ACC Board of Directors (a.k.a. the university presidents) posted a plan yesterday that allows for an 11-game regular season, where teams will play 10 conference games and one non-conference game. They expect to formally ratify it on August 5th.
  • The SEC Presidents and Chancellors meet today via Zoom, and they’ll make a decision on what appears to be a 10-game conference-only slate. But if the history of the SEC holds, the fact the details of the plan leaked means they’ve got the votes to make this happen already.
  • The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already decided to go conference only.
  • The Big 12 has taken up residence on Crazy Island thinking they can still play 12 games like everything is fine. Expect them to fall into something closer to reality after the SEC meeting later today.
  • The American Conference, the best of the non Power Five leagues, will have their presidents meet on August 5th.

But this is all signal and no noise leading up to the real decision, which is the NCAA Board of Governors meeting taking place next Tuesday, August 4th. So far the commissioners of the Power Five leagues have been able to keep the NCAA from voting to eliminate championships in the fall sports, which include sports like field hockey and volleyball as well as FCS football.

Though technically FBS football is outside the jurisdiction of this body, it’s considered pretty politically untenable to stop student-athletes from running cross-country but allowing them to hit each other across a line of scrimmage from each other because it makes money for the colleges involved.

So while today’s meetings and what’s been laid out previously are important and express the desires of the major college football schools, don’t cast anything in stone until after the NCAA BoG meeting next Tuesday.