The 2020 Big 12 Conference football scheduling model will reportedly consist of nine conference games plus one non-conference matchup, according to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach and Max Olson.
The Big 12, which made the decision after a Monday afternoon meeting consisting of university presidents, is the last Power Five conference to make a decision on its fall season amid the coronavirus pandemic. So far, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC have all announced they will move to 10-game, conference-only schedules for the 2020 season, while the ACC will move to an 11-game schedule including a single non-conference game, only to be played within each school’s state borders.
The Big 12’s decision echoes that of the ACC, and reportedly includes the requisite that non-conference games must be played at each team’s home venue.
“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.”
Even before the reported decision from the Big 12, the Mountaineers’ non-conference schedule was put in jeopardy. West Virginia’s week three matchup with Maryland was effectively canceled after the Big Ten made its ruling in early July. Weeks later, WVU’s Sept. 5 season opener against Florida State in Atlanta was also effectively canceled after the ACC made its own ruling.
As of now, West Virginia’s week two matchup with Eastern Kentucky is still set to happen as planned, however nine Ohio Valley Conference non-conference games have already been canceled. Despite that, EKU Director of Athletics Matt Roan told the Richmond Register that the Colonials are a “full go” for the matchup, and are willing to move to week zero — or the weekend of Aug. 29 — if needed.