The Big Ten made a difficult decision Thursday when it announced that it would play a conference-only football schedule in 2020 -- if it plays the season at all -- amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, that decision has reverberated throughout the Power Five and the FBS as a whole with the Pac-12 following suit on Friday in announcing it will only play league games this season.
Not only have 42 Big Ten nonconference games now been canceled, other major conferences are now facing the same decision the Big Ten made. So where do the rest of the Power Five conferences stand?
Following a call with FBS commissioners that concluded Friday morning, let's take a look at what we now know as the leagues figure out exactly what they are going to do this season.
SEC: The SEC had no comment on its future plans when reached by CBS Sports. Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk did tell reporters Thursday that a potential conference-only schedule could be decided upon by late July. It's unclear if that time frame has been accelerated after the Big Ten's announcement. The SEC's athletic directors will meet with commissioner Greg Sankey in person on Monday in Birmingham, Alabama. This was a previously scheduled meeting, and no major decisions are expected to be made.
ACC: The ACC is considering a conference-game only schedule, according to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. Its athletic directors will discuss scheduling among other topics Tuesday at a previously scheduled meeting with commissioner John Swofford. Should the ACC eventually go to that model, it is expected that the conference would work independent Notre Dame into the scheduling format due to its existing football affiliation. However, the ACC announced Friday that it will not come to any formal, official decision until late July.
"We've modeled [conference-only] in concept," an ACC source told Dodd. "Now it's getting to the next level of, 'OK, how would it look on paper?' The Big Ten made their decision a little earlier. … Just because the Big Ten crowed doesn't mean it caused the sunshine. There's a lot of variables out there, but if you don't have one, if it's not in your hip pocket, you'll find out real quick it doesn't take just one day to pull one of these together."
Big 12: The Big 12 has not made an announcement about its plans and appears to be taking the same wait-and-see approach as the SEC. League commissioner Bob Bowlsby told Dodd "it's a little early" to make a decision about playing a conference-only schedule, though the league has a model ready to go should it head in that direction at some point. Big 12 athletic directors also have a previously scheduled meeting with Bowlsby on Tuesday.
Thursday and Friday were big days in the world of major college football. The next steps appear to be coming into focus now, and it's hard to imagine other Power Five conferences not following the Big Ten's lead in some form over the next few weeks.
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