Division III fall championships were called off earlier in the day, but Division II championships have now been called off as well.
As the country continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, college conferences across the country are in the process of deciding how they will approach the fall sports season -- if they play games at all. All Power Five conferences have now laid out their general plans, with only the Big Ten announcing dates for games at this time.
The SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 will all play conference-only schedules, while the ACC and Big 12 will play conference schedules plus one nonconference game against yet-to-be-determined opponents.
At lower divisions, some leagues have canceled all fall competition while others -- such as the Sun Belt -- are planning to proceed as scheduled, at least for now. Here's the breakdown of what we know about the measures being taken at each division of the sport as the scheduled kickoff of the 2020 college football season approaches.
Big 12: The Big 12 will play 10 games in the fall, including nine conference games and one nonconference game beginning in mid-to-late September. The nonconference games must be played at home before the start of the conference slate. The Big 12 Championship Game is still scheduled for Dec. 5 but could be pushed back by one or two weeks. The league had also been considering a 12-game model.
Pac-12: A couple days after the Big Ten's announcement, the Pac-12 followed suit and moved to a conference-only schedule for 2020. The league also delayed starting mandatory athletic activities until the coronavirus pandemic began trending significantly in a negative direction. Theon July 31 with the season for the conference set to begin on Saturday, Sept. 26.
SEC: The SEC announced it will play a 10-game, conference-only schedule. Teams will play the eight opponents they were originally scheduled to play from the league and the next two opponents from their cross-division rotation. The league's announcement left the Big 12 as the lone Power Five conference yet to announce its plans.
ACC: The ACC has decided on an 11-game schedule for the 2020 season, consisting of 10 league games and one nonconference opponent. Notre Dame will join the ACC for 2020 only, playing a full 10-game conference schedule with an additional opponent, which makes it eligible for the ACC Championship Game. Click here for specifics on the 2020 ACC schedule.
Big Ten: The Big Ten's 10-game, conference only schedule will begin in full on Sept. 5 with Ohio State and Illinois kicking off the season on Thursday, Sept. 3. The schedule will conclude on Nov. 21 with a conference-wide open week on Nov. 28. Coupled with two open weeks during the season, each team will have 13 weeks to play 10 games in case make-up games need to be scheduled. The Big Ten Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Indianapolis, but can be pushed back as far as Dec. 19.
|Conference||Total games||Conf. / Nonconf.||Divisions?||Start date||Title game|
10 / 1
10 / 0
9 / 1
10 / 0
10 / 0
Independents: Notre Dame is scheduled to play 10 ACC teams this season as part of the conference's updated schedule. BYU lost five games from its schedule when the Pac-12 and Big Ten announced they were moving to conference-only slates. BYU associate athletic director Duff Tittle told the Salt Lake Tribune that "BYU is actively working on a variety of scheduling alternatives since the announcements by the Big Ten and Pac-12 to play conference-only games." The other FBS independents are Army, Liberty, New Mexico State, UConn and UMass. Every FBS independent school has had at least one game wiped out by scheduling changes made by other leagues.
AAC: AAC teams will be allowed to play up to 12 games, if they choose. The league slate is scheduled to consist of eight games, like it usually does, with conference play beginning on Sept. 19. The AAC Championship Game will be played on either Dec. 5, 12 or 19 at the stadium of the regular-season champion
MAC: The league's 12 teams were hit hard when the Big Ten announced it is only playing conference games. MAC teams had a total of 11 games scheduled against Big Ten teams. But the MAC itself has not announced any changes to scheduling protocols.
Mountain West: The league announced that it will play its usual eight-game conference slate and two nonconference games with play permitted to begin Sept. 26. The league championship game will be held one of the first three Saturdays of December. An exact schedule has not been released.
Sun Belt: The Sun Belt announced on Aug. 4 that it will play a full season beginning on Labor Day weekend. Several member schools have had nonconference games canceled, but the league will allow teams to add new nonconference games in order to reach a 12-game slate. A league championship game is scheduled for Dec. 5, but the date can be adjusted if necessary.
Conference USA: Thus far, C-USA has also lost several games due to scheduling changes made by other leagues. It has announced no schedule changes of its own.
The Football Championship Subdivision is comprised of 13 conferences and two independent programs. So far, six FCS leagues have announced they will not play sports -- football included -- this fall. Those conferences are the Ivy League, MEAC, Patriot League, CAA, NEC and the SWAC. The SWAC did announce it plans to play a seven-game, conference-only schedule in the spring semester.
Division II, III and NAIA
The NCAA Division II and Division III councils canceled their fall championships on Aug. 5, citing the challenges posed by the pandemic. Those decisions came after the NAIA announced on July 31 that its football national championship has been postponed to the spring, though the NAIA left it up to individual conferences on whether or not they still want to have seasons this fall.