Thursday’s announcement of the 10-game SEC games only schedule starting Sept. 26 lifted spirits of all 14 league schools back at work hoping for a 2020 season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron, who has been publicly vocal in his passionate plea to have as a season, was simultaneously relived and pleased that the league finally made a decision.
“Anytime you can play 10 SEC opponents, the best conference in all of college football, what a great challenge for us,” Orgeron said on a New Orleans radio talk sports talk show in his only public reaction about the SEC’s move. “We’re going to have to get two more game plans ready for two more opponents but we’re going to be ready. That’s a lot of time to prepare a lot of time in camp, we get three extra weeks to prepare. I think it’s going to help all of the football teams.”
The late start to the season will be beneficial for the Tigers, who had counted on the canceled spring practice to give first-team quarterback snaps to new starter Myles Brennan as well as install new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini’s 4-3 defensive scheme.
Orgeron said the time will allow to him to schedule some extra intrasquad scrimmages.
“Our guys have had the mindset, we haven’t blinked,” Oregron said. “There’s a lot of noise out there but we didn’t let it affect us. Every time I’ve asked these guys to focus in on the task at hand, they have. Now that we know what’s in front of us, it’s good. We can talk to the team. We’re just happy that we’re getting to play.”
Orgeron understands they are plenty of unchartered waters ahead to navigate.
“One of the biggest questions is testing,” he said. “When are we going to test? How frequently are we going to test, tracking, who gets quarantined? We still have a lot of things to work out. What happens when you have a certain number of kids that aren’t going to be ready to play?
“We control every school in the SEC as far as travel, we have the same rules so I think it makes it easier and safer for our football players.”