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Greg Sankey Prepares for a Schedule Shuffle

(Photo: © Dale Zanine | USA TODAY Sports)

© Dale Zanine | USA Today Sports

The Kentucky football team’s game against Vanderbilt is still on as planned, but the rest of the schedule could get turned upside down.

Four SEC games this weekend have been postponed, forcing eight teams to adjust who they will play when before the conference’s scheduled championship game in Atlanta Dec. 19. Only one of UK’s final four opponents, Alabama, took the unexpected week off. Unable to play LSU Dec. 12 because of the previously postponed LSU-Florida game, Alabama’s schedule will likely require a major facelift, Commissioner Greg Sankey acknowledged as much to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The ability to adjust games and modify the schedule, and we’ve said this to our membership repeatedly, will affect more than just the involved teams,” the SEC Commissioner said Wednesday afternoon.

Kentucky previously changed the dates of its games against Missouri and Georgia. Now the Wildcats could face Alabama at date other than Nov. 21. Sankey said they may prioritize division matchups to ensure an equitable title game. “There certainly could be. Is that right now? There are a lot of possibilities still at play.”

Adam Luckett laid out a potential scenario that would pave the way for Kentucky’s trip to Tuscaloosa while still giving the Crimson Tide a shot at revenge against the Bayou Bengals.

Today Sankey did not provide too much clarity on issues, like potentially moving the CFB Playoff. He’s “troubled” by this week’s developments, yet encouraged that they made it more than halfway through the season without any significant setbacks. All of his focus over the coming days is getting the league to crown an SEC Champion in Atlanta on the 19th of December.

What about Basketball?

The SEC gave each team a little wiggle room, but most likely not enough. Each team will have 20 scheduled slots to play 18 games. The problem is that one postponement from Covid would force a team to miss up to four games over two weeks.

“The lesson from what we’re dealing with now is disruption when it occurs has the potential to be for multiple games. That reality is present.”

Sankey said when compiling the men’s basketball schedule he made it abundantly clear to athletic directors that one postponement could turn into multiple.

“If you’re looking at the potential for disruption, part of our learning experience is that it can be up to two weeks, which is four games. So, we have to avoid that. You want to avoid that, is the right way to state it. We built in some accommodation at the end, probably for two games max, and then you’re just going to have to deal with winning percentages where games may be lost. You’re going to have to accept that disruption as a reality.

“Given the scope of a basketball season, the effort to play multiple games in a week, that’s a reality that is informed the consideration, it’s informed the explanation. What it’s not done is caused us to build in a whole set of additional weeks into the season, as you’ve seen. The short answer is I acknowledge that reality and we’ll have to adjust accordingly if meaningful disruption occurs.

“The reality is that in basketball we do have a 14-team postseason event where you do have an opportunity to compete for that tournament championship. I’ll assume that some thinking is guided by that reality, but still, you want to try to minimize disruption, accommodate adjustments but there are limitations.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR