With the 2020 college football season inching closer towards its start, the Big 12 is the latest Power Five conference to announce its scheduling plans. The smallest of the major conferences will have its teams play 10-game seasons, including nine conference games and one nonconference contest.
The Big 12 -- a 10-team league -- regularly plays a nine-game, round-robin conference schedule. The start of conference play will be "solidified in the coming weeks, with an anticipated start sometime between mid-to-late September," according to a release.
It is expected the Big 12 will announce the start date to the conference season (either Sept. 19 or Sept. 26) early this week, Big 12 sources told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. Big 12 athletic directors have pushed back Tuesday's weekly conference call to 3 p.m. CT to account for the NCAA Board of Governors decision on whether to cancel fall championships.
Nonconference games are expected to be played prior to the start of league games as Big 12 home contests. Four Big 12 teams are currently slated to play nonconference games on Aug. 29, which would be Week 0.
It's "highly doubtful" defending conference champion Oklahoma will play its scheduled Aug. 29 game against Missouri State, league sources tell Dodd. At least one Big 12 school will announce an entirely new nonconference opponent -- not one of three currently on its schedule -- for its 10th game, and at least one other Big 12 school is waiting for the starting date of the Big 12 conference schedule before deciding on its nonconference opponent.
Based on decisions by other leagues, the Big 12 does not currently have any nonconference games scheduled against Power Five opponents.
Some Big 12 ADs wished the league presidents had approved an 11- or 12-game schedule because of the difficult round-robin conference schedule, league sources told Dodd. The Big 12 is the only Power Five conference that plays a round-robin format. Those ADs favored being able to schedule more winnable nonconference games.
The Big 12 had been debating between two formats: the adopted "plus one" model and a full 12-game schedule. At the heart of the matter was whether the 10-team league could balance a need for television inventory with the safety and feasibility of either a conference-only schedule or one that allowed for only one nonconference game.
Additionally, the Big 12 Championship Game is still scheduled for Dec. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but there is flexibility with this date and location. The game could be moved to Dec. 12 or as late as Dec. 19. If it is moved to the latest date -- when the SEC and Pac-12 have decided to play their respective title games -- it could be relocated to nearby Globe Life Field as to not conflict with he UIL Texas high school football championships for classes 4A-1A.
The ACC, Pac-12 and SEC have already announced their scheduling plans for the fall. The ACC will play 11 games (a 10-game conference schedule with one nonconference game), while the SEC and Pac-12 are playing 10-game, conference-only slates. The Big Ten is the remaining power conference to have not yet announced its schedule for the upcoming season, though the league did state in July that it would only play conference games.
The ACC will start games the week of Sept. 7 with the Pac-12 and SEC pushing their start dates back to Sept. 26.