Decisions regarding the 2020 college football season seem to be playing out on two separate planets.
Not long after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences made announcements Tuesday afternoon to cancel their fall seasons with the hope of playing in the spring, the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference revealed their intentions to move forward.
"I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a released statement. "I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day."
The ACC sent out a release that stated: "We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves."
Tuesday's announcement by the Big Ten transpired just six days after that conference announced it would be holding a 10-game season consisting solely of league games. Each team was scheduled to play its 10 contests over a 12-week stretch from Sept. 5 to Nov. 21, with the Big Ten title game set for Dec. 5.
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said after the Big Ten move that league teams would continue operating on 20-hour work weeks regarding player workouts.
It was a very different tune Tuesday in the SEC, with South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner telling a Columbia radio station, "I respect the Big Ten decision, but that's not where the SEC is headed." Tanner even revealed that current plans call for capacity to be just less than 25% for the five home games at Williams-Brice Stadium, which would result in crowds of roughly 19,750.
Reports surfaced Tuesday night that Big 12 member schools' presidents had decided to advance toward a season and could have a revised schedule soon. The SEC is expected to release its adjusted schedule within the next several days as well.
Former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier couldn't let Tuesday's actions pass without one of his verbal jabs, telling Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun: "The SEC and ACC should just play their seasons and winners face off for the national title because one conference was going to win it anyway."
Of the past 14 national champions in college football, 10 have hailed from the SEC and three from the ACC. Ohio State of the Big Ten served as the lone outlier in 2014.