The Big 12 conference has approved a “nine-plus-one” model for its 2020 football season. League presidents and chancellors met on Monday evening to debate the merits of that schedule, in addition to a full 12-game slate, but selected the plan that will allow one non-conference game in addition to the nine Big 12 contests.
Details such as an official start date and any revisions to the current conference schedule were not detailed in the league’s release late Monday night.
“The Big 12 Board of Directors announced that Conference football programs will play a ‘9+1’ schedule for the 2020 season consisting of nine conference games and one non-conference home opponent,” the official release said.
“The start of Conference play will be solidified in the coming weeks, with an anticipated start sometime between mid- to late-September, with the expectation that non-conference games are contested prior to beginning league games.
“The model also gives the Conference flexibility to move back the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game to Dec. 12 or 19.
“I would like to salute the work of our university presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, coaches, medical advisors and administrators who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively during these extraordinary times,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We believe this change provides the best opportunity going forward. However, we will undoubtedly need to be flexible as we progress through the season in order to combat the challenges that lie ahead.”
Six of the league teams currently have 11-game schedules, which means they will have to cut one of their non-conference opponents from their slate. Iowa State has a 12-game schedule and will have to drop two. Only West Virginia, TCU, and Texas Tech, with Eastern Kentucky, SMU and UTEP as their respective sole non-conferences foes, can stand pat with their current schedules. Other league schools will have to buy out or cancel one non-conference game.
Here are the current Big 12 non-conference scheduled games and dates:
Baylor: 9/19 UIW, 9/26 Louisiana Tech
Iowa State: 9/5 South Dakota, 9/12 Ball State, 9/19 UNLV
Kansas: 8/29 Southern Illinois, 9/26 at Coastal Carolina
Kansas State: 9/5 Buffalo, 9/12 North Dakota
Oklahoma: 8/29 Missouri State, 9/26 at Army
Oklahoma State: 9/12 Tulsa, 9/19 Western Illinois
TCU: 9/2 at SMU
Texas: 9/5 South Florida, 9/19 UTEP
Texas Tech: 9/5 UTEP
West Virginia: 9/12 Eastern Kentucky
The Big 12 joins the Pac-12, Big 10 and SEC in approving a 10-game schedule for this season, although the latter trio’s slate is made up entirely of conference games. The ACC is the only Power 5 league playing an 11-game schedule – 10 conference contests and one non-conference game within the bounds of its own state.
This is not the final hurdle for college football in 2020, however. The NCAA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, and could vote to cancel championships in other fall sports. Although that would not affect the Power 5’s plans to play their regular season football conference schedules, it would set up a direct conflict, at least in appearances and optics, were the Power 5 schools to play while other sports were cancelled.