The Big 12 is considering moving the Big 12 Championship Game back a week as a contingency plan amid COVID-19 concerns. The Dallas Morning News revealed that the athletic directors of the Big 12 are considering moving the game from Saturday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 12 as a bit of insurance.
The idea is that should the 2020 college football regular season be impacted by the current coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc across the nation, delaying the game a week would give the conference a little more wiggle room. Should regular-season games be canceled due to the pandemic, they could conceivably be made up on that Dec. 5 weekend.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is not part of the discussions between the ADs, but he did confirm to the Dallas Morning News that the option is being discussed.
"I think trying to build in flexibility makes sense. That's not the decision we'll make this kind of year," Bowlsby told the paper. "I hope the season is orderly enough that those kinds of options can be viable. I suspect that we won't have that luxury."
A high-ranking Big 12 source confirmed to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that discussions have gone down, but they reiterated that there is no decision looming, simply a focus on creativity and innovation.
"If we do have a 12-game season [and] a conference game that cannot occur, the first effort would be to schedule it on an open date," that source said. "What we're trying to figure out is what happens if certain games can't be played. We're looking at the impact of moving back our championship game a week or two."
Of course, simply moving the game isn't as simple as moving the game a week. The Big 12 Championship Game is played at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are not scheduled to play at home on Sunday, Dec. 6 nor Sunday, Dec. 13, but they would have to approve of the plan. Plus, you can't rule out that the NFL may be forced to move games around as well.
That's just the reality of a situation in which we can only guess what the future of COVID-19 in America will be. Cases have been rising in some states recently, and one of those states is Texas. At the end of May, Texas had a reported 64,287 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Through June 21, that number had risen to 111,601, an increase of 47,314 cases. The number of new cases in June equal an amount of 73.6% of the cases Texas had seen from March 1 to May 31.