Big 12 Reveals 10-Game CFB Schedule Plan; Includes 1 Nonconference Opponent

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby talks to the media after canceling the remaining NCAA college basketball games in the Big 12 Conference tournament due to concerns about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. The biggest conferences in college sports all canceled their basketball tournaments because of the new coronavirus, seemingly putting the NCAA Tournament in doubt. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Big 12 announced the scheduling changes it will make in an attempt to work around the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Teams will have nine conference games and one nonconference home game. The plan mirrors that of the ACC, which laid out a 10-game conference slate with the opportunity for one nonconference contest.

The Big 12 didn't finalize a date to open the college football season, with mid-to-late September the tentative timeframe. The conference championship would be as late as Dec. 12 or 19.

According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, a firm date for the start of the campaign could come as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

The other four Power Five conferences had already confirmed they were altering the schedules of their member schools to account for the pandemic. The Big 12 and the ACC are the only two that will allow for nonconference games, with the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC going with conference-only formats.

Monday's announcement doesn't amount to a big change for the Big 12. The conference has 10 teams, and the schedule is traditionally set up so that every school plays one another. In effect, the nine-plus-one plan means athletic directors will only need to trim two nonconference games.

By comparison, the SEC's 10-game conference-only approach means ADs will not only have to wipe out four nonconference games but will also have to work out the logistics of two more SEC clashes.

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Of course, all this is contingent on the pandemic allowing for a college football season in the fall.

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde reported that administrators from Power Five schools have explored staging their own championships for fall sports should the NCAA Board of Governors announce a cancellation or postponement for the fall.

"Multiple sources said part of the motivation for the Power 5 considering hosting its own fall Olympic sports seasons is to justify playing football, the revenue-driving sport for all athletic departments at that level," the report said.