On July 30, the Southeastern Conference put an end to speculations about the upcoming fall football season. Teams will begin play of a conference-only season on Sept. 26. As of right now, the title game for the SEC is set for Dec. 19 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The delay of the start of the season is due to the fact the main concern of faculty and student-athletes is the healthy return of students before the season begins.
"Health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff remain the first and foremost priority of both the SEC and Mississippi State," Mississippi State University Athletic Director John Cohen said in a statement.
Heather Dinich, an ESPN senior writer, posted her article on the release of the news. She said the full schedule is not out yet but will be announced at a later date.
Student-athletes will have the option to participate in this season because of health and safety issues that may be of greater concern to some than others. According to the SEC's announcement as stated in the ESPN article by Dinich, those athletes who choose not to participate will still be able to have their scholarships upheld and will not lose good standing with their teams and universities.
Although this season will look different from the regular football season for MSU and other universities, the players and coaches will, according to the current plans, still be able to play football this fall. The non-conference play will be missed this season, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey addressed this in a phone call on the Paul Finebaum Show.
"We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur," Sankey said.
Brandon Langlois, the associate athletics director/communications for MSU, said the transition from a normal season to conference-only play was made to have fewer games, in order for there to be more flexibility for the teams to adapt to the potential changes that will come throughout the season.
"We appreciate the maturity, flexibility and perseverance of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the entire MSU Family during these last five months and as we move forward," Cohen said.