Greg Sankey outlines how the Playoff committee may weigh the SEC postponements
With the SEC facing four games being postponed or called off and unable to be made up this week, Commissioner Greg Sankey shared how those moves change the second half of the season, the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff.
Sankey was asked on a SEC media teleconference on Wednesday if he was concerned about SEC teams not playing enough games to impress the CFP committee.
“We honor the process with the committee.. the reality is I’m not concerned with the respect of playing an SEC schedule, the committee does too… our teams have dealt with that rigor… regardless of how many games our champion plays, the committee will respect that,” Sankey said.
He added that 0.005 percent of SEC athletes have tested positive.
If changes continue, would the Playoff be pushed back?
“We have finish lines now so we are focused on Dec 19 SEC title game,” Sankey said. “The reality is, if you walk in our building, we have a sign that says ‘be flexible’ we all have to be flexible… change my need to occur. … The answer is I have not used my imagination to focus on that, focused on Dec. 19… expanding the Playoff makes it more difficult to complete the Playoff. There are factors that come with all of these decisions … I have to acknowledge that I’m troubled with the postponements this week but we have to adjust further… I’m shaken but not deterred.”
The priority is the short term, not looking too far ahead at this point, he said.
Sankey also said the league has not discussed the NFL policy, which allows contact tracing players to test out.
“We are colleges and universities in 11 different states with different policies so we have different guidelines,” he said.
Having said that, Sankey addressed whether the SEC title is the priority and if games could be postponed for teams competing in Atlanta.
“There certainly could be,” he said. “Is that right now? There are a lot of possibilities still at play.”
Beyond the Playoff, other bowl games are in a to be determined position.
“In my conversation in naming a champion on the 19th, I’ve not thought about the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, or title game,” Sankey said. “We have to have a finish line at some point… when we project Dec. 26, we can pick any date, all of this is going to be guided around the virus.”
About postponements overall, and the availability to play then, Sankey said, “The best way to answer that is to adjust. We moved several games that involved several teams… that’s going to be the reality moving forward, the movement will affect more than just the involved teams.”