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SEC photo / Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey addressed a Sports Illustrated report Wednesday that the league would be playing a 10-game football season consisting solely of conference contests.

Two conflicting reports surfaced Wednesday regarding the Southeastern Conference's plans for the 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with league commissioner Greg Sankey opting to weigh in on the speculation.

Sports Illustrated, citing unnamed sources, reported the SEC was closing in on a 10-game schedule consisting solely of conference contests. The publication added that the league's athletic directors had agreed on the matter heading into Thursday's virtual meeting of its chancellors and presidents.

That was followed by a statement from Sankey released through the league office.

"It is not appropriate to respond to anonymous sources and speculation," Sankey said. "We continue our discussions focused on the return of fall sports, including football. We will announce any decisions at the appropriate time."

Sankey's statement was followed by a report from 247Sports.com claiming league athletic directors could change their mind about the conference-only format and that one nonconference contest could be added, which is what the Atlantic Coast Conference revealed on Wednesday as its concept for the 2020 season.

The ACC's plan would allow for in-state rivalries such as Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia, Louisville-Kentucky and Clemson-South Carolina, but a league-only format by the SEC would eliminate those games. Clemson and South Carolina have played annually since 1909.

Sports Illustrated added that the SEC's 10-game schedule within the league would consist of a school playing the six teams from its division, the two cross-divisional games already scheduled, and the two cross-division teams that were next up in the rotation. That would result in Tennessee adding Ole Miss and LSU, Georgia adding Arkansas and Mississippi State, and Alabama adding Florida and Vanderbilt.

Thursday's meeting of chancellors and presidents could provide clarity, but they also could choose to wait until next week before finalizing plans.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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