The Southeastern Conference announced plans for a conference-only football schedule on Thursday with the season set to kick off on Sept. 26.

The plan comes with one open date mid-season for each school, as well as an open date on Dec. 12.

The championship game is scheduled for Dec. 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

"This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities."

The SEC believes the new arrangement allows for maximum flexibility due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"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. "It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures."

A full schedule will be announced at a later date.

The LSU Tigers are the defending SEC and national champions.