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The Big 12 will play football

That’s their plan, anyway.

The start of the Big 12 Conference’s college football season will move forward as scheduled, conference officials said Wednesday, meaning four major Texas football programs are one step closer to playing this fall.

“Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby in a statement. The season will kick off Sept. 26, with the conference championship pegged for Dec. 12.

Baylor University, Texas Christian University, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin are Big 12 members. The conference presidents’ decision to allow football during the coronavirus pandemic was made official Wednesday morning, a day after the Big Ten and the Pac-12 announced their seasons would be postponed until the spring semester.

Bowlsby said member schools have committed to enhanced COVID-19 testing, with three tests per week in high contact sports. Non-conference football opponents must also adhere to testing protocols that match conference standards.

Texas A&M University is part of the Southeastern Conference, which has also signaled its intent to allow teams to play this fall.

“We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement Tuesday.

So that’s two Power 5 conferences not playing in the fall, two that say they are, and the ACC. Of course, there are a ton of questions that will have to be addressed before this can be taken seriously, such as “how exactly are you going to keep all those people safe”, “what will be the protocol when someone (or several someones) tests positive”, and “do you really think that allowing fans in the stands is a good idea”. You can have all the bravado you want, but you better have some idea of what you’re doing when something inevitably goes wrong. In the meantime, all I can say is that it’s going to be an interesting autumn. Or possibly spring, if things do change. Reform Austin has more.

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5 Comments

  1. BillK says:

    Over/under of games played before the season is cancelled? My guess, 4.

  2. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Bill, Ill take the under, if we are talking about conference games.

    The season will likely start. But theres gonna be a huge spike in COVID-19 cases when schools go back. Instead of number of games, Ill say it will be around October 1 when even the SEC has to give it up. Theyll throw a fit.

  3. Flypusher says:

    I love college football. I attend plenty of the local games. But I cannot see anyone completing a season. It’s going to be hard enough to avoid outbreaks just with students coming back to campuses to take classes. Resuming sports, which means people traveling around, being in close contact with other groups of people, and coming back, just puts more holes in the dam.

  4. blank says:

    @BillK–That’s a pretty solid over/under, since I don’t know which one to take.

  5. […] we now know, the Big 12 will be playing football this fall, though what the situation with fans in the stands will be remains unclear. That’s […]