The chance of the Big 12 playing a normal schedule took another blow Thursday and set the coming week spinning out of control.
Already moved once, the Big 12 Conference called off its Virtual Football Media Day, set for Monday. It is yet to be determined if the event will be rescheduled. It was originally slated for July 20-21.
That likely wouldn't have happened except on Thursday, the SEC announced it would reconfigure its schedule to include only league games in 2020, yet another pandemic-forced decision that pushes major college football in to a regular season in which none of the power conferences cross paths.
“There continues to be a lot more questions than answers about what the football season will look like,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “A media day is intended to talk football and the prospects for the season. Part of that discussion is who you will be playing and when. With the on-going consideration of scheduling models by our Board of Directors, this is the best course of action at this time. “
A media briefing with Bowlsby will be scheduled in the near-term to update on the state of the conference.
Oklahoma will lose a home game against Tennessee on Sept. 12, giving the Sooners three consecutive off weeks. The season opener against Missouri State was moved to Aug. 29, leaving Sept. 5 and Sept. 19 as open dates. Baylor against Ole Miss in Houston on Sept. 6, Texas At LSU on Sept. 12 and Kansas State vs. Vanderbilt Sept. 19 are also scratches.
Arkansas, which has had its worst back-to-back seasons in school history, loses games it likely needed as the program tries to bounce back under new head coach Sam Pittman. The Razorbacks lose games with Nevada Sept. 5, Charleston Southern on Oct. 3 and Louisiana-Monroe Nov. 21.
“The most important part of all of this is keeping our student-athletes healthy and safe. I think this plan accomplishes that while giving our players the chance to compete," Pittman said in a released statement.
The SEC's university presidents agreed on a 10-game schedule that eliminates all non-conference opponents and begins Sept. 26. The SEC championship game, originally scheduled for Dec. 5, will be pushed back to Dec. 19, 13 days before the College Football Playoff semifinals are scheduled to be played on New Year's Day.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced plans to play only conference games. The ACC on Wednesday announced a reworked 11-game schedule that left room for one non-conference game and made famously independent Notre Dame a member of a league for the first time in the 133-year history of Fighting Irish football.
The SEC's decision puts all ACC non-conference games in doubt. The ACC had stipulated it would only allow its schools to play in their home states against non-ACC teams.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have yet to reveal detailed schedules, but both could come as soon as Friday. They are expected to start after Labor Day and likely land on a 10-game model.
A schedule with new matchups still must be approved by athletic directors and will be announced later. The 14 SEC teams normally play eight conference games and four non-conference games, with seven teams in each division. The SEC is keeping its divisional format and each team will add two cross-divisional games.
“We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said.