The SEC always drew complaints for playing fewer conference opponents than other leagues.
While other conferences played at least nine in-conference games, the SEC stayed with eight, claiming another tough conference foe would be too daunting.
Instead, SEC powers were notorious for scheduling a couple of cupcakes from outside the league, along with one opponent from one of the other "power" conferences.
For years, the eight-game conference schedule was ironclad dogma for SEC coaches, although Alabama's Nick Saban espoused adding another conference game.
But the coronavirus pandemic has ended that era. The league announced Thursday that because of the coronavirus surge, each SEC team will play 10 conference opponents in the 2020 season. Anticipated regional matchups like LSU-Texas, Alabama-USC and Virginia-Georgia were cancelled.
Even SEC-ACC rivalry games like Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State and South Carolilna-Clemson will be scrapped. The ACC in announcing its Covid-19 plans this week offered a play-in game so that those in-state games could be preserved, but the SEC the next day slammed the door.
The SEC also announced its 10-game inter-conference season would begin Sept. 26.
Old-timers like me remember when football season always began on the last weekend in September, and teams played 10 games. Before ESPN pushed the sport to Labor Day, football was a fall sport, and "student athletes" weren't as burdened.
Playing a full conference schedule will be new for the SEC. Now the Big 10, Big 12, ACC and Pac 12 can't say the SEC plays a lesser conference schedule.
The pandemic doesn't care about those plans, and there's a high probability that college football will be curtailed, or not played at all. The New York Times reported Friday that American universities are already reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, even before students return to campuses for fall classes.
A major outbreak on a college team similar to that of major league baseball's Miami Marlins will lead a team to forfeit one or two games, affecting league standings. The SEC moved its annual championship game to Dec. 19, meaning it would have a week or two at the end of the regular season for rescheduling games.
With players crashing into each other on each play, and sharing locker-rooms, college football looks like the perfect environment for Covid-19's spread.