The Big 12 announced yesterday that they would adopt a 9 game conference schedule and a 1 game non-conference game. The non-conference game must be played at home, so this puts into doubt the UTEP game as it was to be played in El Paso. The Big 12 has not determined a start date, but think that mid to late September with a Big 12 Championship game on December 12th or 19th.
This was almost always the play with the Big 12, despite wanting to play 12 games, there likely wasn’t another outcome considering the moves of the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC. As you may recall, the Big Ten went to conference-only for 10 games, as did the SEC, with the ACC to do a 10+1 model with their non-conference game to be played in-state, not necessarily at home.
There was a thought that BYU would be a terrific substitute for the Big 12 so that the Big 12 could have 10 conference-like opponents, like all of the other conferences, but that’s giving BYU too much of the pie and the Big 12 doesn’t like handing out pie. Pie is good.
Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams talked with Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec who confirmed that the start date will likely be September 19th or 26th and the UTEP game is unlikely:
The mandate for home-only non-conference games puts Texas Tech’s season opener — Sept. 5 at Texas-El Paso — in question. Asked the possibility of simply keeping the same date and the Miners coming to Lubbock, Schovanec said, “I think that probably is not a large possibility.”
However, he said nailing down the non-conference date and opponent will be Hocutt’s call.
Schovanec also expects the schedule to be modified in-season, something we’ve discussed, which is that the conference needs flexibility. This is part of a discussion concerning meeting the contract requirements of ESPN and FOX:
“If the 10 teams all broadcast their home game — that’s what we anticipate — we’ll deliver 55 of that planned 57 games,” Schovanec said. “Otherwise, at 45 (conference games only), it would be about $35 million of lost revenue.”
Schovanec said that topic did not come up in Monday’s discussion, however.
“That wasn’t a pivotal point: ‘Let’s play games and get the money,’ ” he said. “The issues that were discussed was what was manageable. How could you construct a schedule that had enough flexibility with open dates to deal with the possible complications that will arise?
“And also we had doctors on the call and they had presented sort of a planned policy for health protocols for the season. We wanted them to be there to speak to the issue of the safety of the student-athletes.”
Preseason practice is set to start on Friday.
I think we’ll start to have a much clearer idea as to how/if this will work with players being tested and them being around each other in close contact on a more regular basis and if the cases spike as a result. The players are going to have to buy-in in order for this to work.