Big 12 football to begin in September, commissioner announces

Local Sports

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The Big 12 is breaking rank with other sports conferences, announcing Wednesday they will have football and other fall sports in the fall 2020 season.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced at 10:28 a.m. that he will allow the fall sports season to move forward after Sept 1. The first conference games are set for September 26, but one non-conference game will take place before then.  Bowlsby said teams and coaches, including Kansas State’s football coach Chris Klieman, told him they want to compete.

The “9+1” scheduling model features a September 26 start date for Conference play.  Each team will have a minimum of two bye dates and potentially a third bye late in the season.  The Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game is tentatively scheduled for December 12.  All non-conference games must be completed before September 26 and the match-ups will be announced by each individual conference member.  Stadium capacities will be determined by each member institution in accordance with local and/or state health ordinances, and working with government officials.”


KU does not have a non-conference game set, but they will play Baylor University at home on Sept. 26. K-State will get the jump with a non-conference game against Arkansas State.

(Courtesy Photo/K-State Athletics)
(Courtesy Photo/KU)

Big 12 Board of Directors Chairman Victor Boschini said the conference carefully weighed medical experts counsel before deciding.

It is the Board’s collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being. We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course.”


The decision comes after both the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences canceled their 2020 fall sports seasons. Speculative reports Tuesday night said the Big 12 planned to keep games going.


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