Big 12 football announced its schedule model for the fall of 2020, with each team playing nine conference games and one non-conference contest on its schedule. Similar to the model adopted by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the move completes plans for the Power 5 conferences and their approach to scheduling games this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 football 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.”
Schedules will be solidified in coming weeks, with the non-conference game being played at home, according to the league. Play is set to begin late in September, with an expectation that non-league games would be played prior to the conference schedule. The Big 12 Championship would be moved back and played on December 12 or 19th.
Three of the Power 5 conferences – the Big 10, Pac-12 and SEC – are playing only conference contests in the fall. The Atlantic Coast Conference is also allowing teams to play one non-conference game this year, though programs are limited to playing those games in their home state.
For any Big 12-ACC matchups to occur, one of those restrictions would need to be relaxed – as there are no programs that share a state with a program in the other conference that would allow for a non-conference game to be scheduled. Presuming league officials aren’t interested in bending rules they just announced, that means teams from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mountain West, Mid American Conference or FBS independent ranks will fill in those scheduling homes for these teams – if not FCS squads.