CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein is reporting that the SEC is considering playing two conference games in the month of December.
Source: SEC exploring playing two conference games in December.https://t.co/QXzw4X6Ezk
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 20, 2020
Rothstein’s report comes on the heels of a busy day yesterday for Kentucky’s schedule. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander said a source told him that Lexington will be getting a “pod” in late November. The event will feature Detriot Mercy, Hartford, and Richmond with all four teams expected to play each other once.
Keeping on the roll, KSR’s Jack Pilgrim reported that Kentucky’s Holiday Hoopsgiving game against Georgia Tech may be moved to December. If that does come to fruition, it could include another bubble situation with one being situated in Atlanta.
This goes without mentioning the likelihood of Kentucky’s Champions Classic game against Kansas to be played in the first part of December in Orlando.
When combining all of the above, your schedule begins to look something along the lines of this:
- Lexington pod (begins the first week of the season on Nov. 25)
- Kentucky vs. Detroit Mercy, Hartford, and Richmond
- Champions Classic (tentatively scheduled for Dec. 1-5)
- Kentucky vs. Kansas
- Kentucky vs. Notre Dame (scheduled for Dec. 12)
- Holiday Hoopsgiving (scheduled for Dec. 10-17)
- Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech
If Rothstein’s report is true, we could potentially see two conference games littered in throughout this schedule.
In the John Calipari era, Kentucky has only played two conference games in the month of December. One was a New Year’s Eve tilt against Georgia in 2017 and a December 29th game against Ole Miss in 2016. Traditionally, the first game has been on the first Saturday of January.
The main detractor to this has been Kentucky’s game against Louisville traditionally being scheduled between Christmas and the start of the new year.
As of this moment, the SEC is still scheduled to play a full slate of 18 conference games. The question that could now be asked is, is the Rothstein report just for an additional two games? Or an attempt to add more time to the schedule for spreading games out?
Adding these two games to the month of December could bring new attention to the SEC in basketball. With a number of bowl games in question, major TV networks will look to fill primetime slots. If the conference plays this right, they could reinvigorate the average fan to college basketball outside of the last few weeks of the season into March Madness.