SEC teams that had games scheduled in Week 1 were slated to start fall camp this weekend. Those plans have been changed now that the season has been delayed until Sept. 26. The SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force has approved a new offseason training camp schedule that will allow programs to start camp on Monday, Aug. 17.
The new practice rules will adhere to the normal in-season practice rules which allow for coaches to have 20 countable hours per week with players. Those hours include two off days per week, two days in helmets, two days in shells and one day in full pads. Normal fall camp rules in previous seasons allow for unlimited work as long as school isn't in session. Teams will only be allowed to have 14 hours per week of strength and conditioning, meetings and walk-throughs leading up to the start of fall camp.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic and possible positive tests could hinder a team's ability to get meaningful work in during preseason camp, the window for fall camp has been opened wider. Teams will have 40 days to fit in 25 practices -- 11 more days than previous fall camp windows.
The reason for the move is simple. There's no reason to start fall camp on Aug. 8 when the actual season won't get started for another seven weeks.
Conferences have been scrambling to develop new scheduling models in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SEC will play 10 conference games with two bye weeks instead of the normal eight-game conference schedule with four out-of-conference matchups. The SEC Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 19 instead of Dec. 5.
The Pac-12 and Big Ten are also playing only conference games this season. The ACC is slated to have 10 conference games plus one out-of-conference matchups. The Big 12 announced Monday that it will play nine conference games and one non-conference opponent.