The SEC plans to go ahead with plans to play the 2020 football season, along with the ACC and Big 12. Photo from Flickr.
- The Big Ten and Pac-12 both announced the cancellation of the 2020 football season on Tuesday
- The Big 12 announced that, like the ACC and SEC, it plans on moving forward with football this fall
- Read below for a deeper look at the landscape of college football, both on and off the field, as the 2020 season approaches
After months of speculation and weeks of cancellations around the world of college sports, the first Power 5 shoes finally dropped on Tuesday. Both the Big Ten and Pac 12 announced that they would be cancelling their fall football season, eliminating programs like Ohio State, Oregon, Michigan, and USC from playing in 2020. The news Tuesday wasn’t all negative, however.
Shortly after the cancellations, the Big 12 conference announced its intentions to play football, aligning them up with the SEC and ACC as the conferences that will move forward with fall athletics. It certainly begs the question, why is football seemingly to dangerous to play up north and out west, but safe in the southwest, deep south, and along the Atlantic coast?
Furthermore, why is there such a lack of cohesion and leadership at the top of one of the nation’s biggest industries?
However, while this season will be an odd one with two Power Five conferences missing, there will still be college football, and with that will come the race for the SEC, Big 12, and ACC titles. The 2020 conference championship odds are available, and for two of the three remaining leagues, this is set to be one of the most intriguing and unpredictable seasons in a long time.
2020 SEC Championship Odds
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+110|
|Texas A&M Aggies||+1400|
|South Carolina Gamecocks||+5000|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||+10000|
|Ole Miss Rebels||+15000|
All odds taken August 12th
Wide Open Down South
Despite fielding the defending national champs, there may not be a conference that’s more unpredictable in 2020. LSU was dominant last season, especially offensively, but after losing most of their 2019 roster and a big chunk of the coaching staff, it appears that they’ll return to the pack. For them, and several other SEC teams, the story of 2020 will be turnover.
The Tigers have to replace Heisman winner Joe Burrow with Myles Brennan, and like the other new quarterbacks in the SEC, namely Jamie Newman and JT Daniels at Georgia or Feleipe Franks at Arkansas, it will be especially tough to get things done in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted spring football and the offseason, and as it continues to limit interaction and throw a wrench into routine, the players learning new systems are at a distinct disadvantage.
Those factors make Florida at +700 especially enticing. Kyle Trask enters 2020 with 15 games and 376 attempts under his belt, and around him is an experienced roster full of players that have been responsible for two straight seasons with double-digit victories. The other team with that kind of experience is Alabama, but with a question at quarterback and a +110 number, the Gators are the best value.
2020 ACC Championship Odds
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+500|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+1600|
|Florida State Seminoles||+2000|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||+4000|
|NC State Wolfpack||+10000|
|Boston College Eagles||+25000|
|Duke Blue Devils||+25000|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||+25000|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||+25000|
Irish Crusade Into the ACC
The inclusion of Notre Dame into the 2020 ACC slate is a massive boost to the competitiveness in the league. Without the Irish, an all-ACC slate would simply be the Clemson invitational. That’s displayed in the odds, where after Clemson -350 and Notre Dame +500, there’s a sharp drop to Miami and North Carolina at +1600. With a second high-level team in play, the conference immediately became more interesting.
The Tigers are the conference’s best team heading into the season, but for value’s sake, Notre Dame is the way to go here. The two teams will meet on November 7th in South Bend, so the Irish will have the home-field advantage in the head-to-head.
There is one sleeper to keep an eye on. North Carolina has a Heisman contender at quarterback in Sam Howell, and they’re coming off a 2019 season in which the Tar Heels were a two-point conversion away from taking down Dabo and co.
In a shallow ACC, all it will take for UNC to win the conference is a couple of big Saturday’s. One of those is against Notre Dame on November 27th, and the other would be a potential date with Clemson in the ACC title game.
2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
2020 Big 12 Championship Odds
|Iowa State Cyclones||+750|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||+900|
|TCU Horned Frogs||+3000|
|West Virginia Mountaineers||+5000|
|Kansas State Wildcats||+7000|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders||+10000|
The Big 12 isn’t quite as top-heavy as the ACC, but the odds do show a two-team race in the southwest. Oklahoma and Texas both hold +125 odds to take home the conference crown, but while they are both full of potential, neither of them possess elite value.
Instead, it’s Oklahoma State where things get exciting. With +900 odds, the Cowboys could pay off in a big way in 2020. After some offseason infighting, things appear to have smoothed over, which is good news in Stillwater, because this talented team has a good chance of playing spoiler.
Leading the way is Chuba Hubbard, the Heisman contender at tailback who tallied 2,000 rushing yards in 2019, gaining 6.4 yards per carry and finding the end zone 21 times. He’ll line up next to Spencer Sanders, the sophomore quarterback who started 11 games in 2019 and got better with every start.
In this disrupted offseason where experience matters, the Cowboys also have the in-state edge. The rival Sooners will be replacing yet another great quarterback, and while many are high on Spencer Rattler, it is Sanders that has Big 12 experience to fall back on.
With four years as radio host with The Ticket Sports Network and various written contributions to publications such as Fansided, Southbound and Down, and Last Word on Sports, Jake Mitchell comes to SBD with NFL, NBA, NCAAM, NCAAF and MMA know-how you can count on.