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SEC Football opens under COVID-19 cloud

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) football season gets underway today for only a 10-game league schedule.

Second-ranked Alabama travels to Missouri at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. Eighth-ranked Auburn entertains No. 23 Kentucky at 11 a.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium and will be televised by the SEC Network.

Loud chants of ‘Roll Tide’ and ‘War Eagle’ will be heard across the state, especially in Dallas County, the Capstone and the Plains.

We’re glad to see college football being played in the fall or at least given an opportunity despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the Big 10 and Pac 12 who quickly canceled football, the SEC joined the ACC and Big 12 conferences for sticking with the gridiron.

Of course, playing football during a pandemic has its consequences.

Stadiums will only have 25 percent of their capacity.

Players will be tested often for the coronavirus, which could lead to a few positive tests and players missing games. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Crimson Tide players get tested daily. Auburn had a half-dozen players return from quarantine this week.

No tailgating outside the stadium.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said this week that he’s holding his breath. His definition of a successful season: “Being in Atlanta on Dec. 19 and naming a conference champion.”

Between today and the week before Christmas, we’re rooting for the players to stay healthy and survive a challenging season.