Big 12 Conference Announces Plans to Play Football in Fall 2020

The Big 12 Conference will be playing football this fall. On Wednesday the conference made the decision to have fall sports this year, including football. This comes after the Pac-12 and Big Ten making the decision to postpone football and other fall sports until 2021.

"Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the board's collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being," Big 12 board of directors chairman and TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement via ESPN. Boschini also said they will "remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19." He then said they "will change course" if the doctors tell them the schools can't provide them with a safe environment during the pandemic.

Along with announcing fall sports being played this year, the Big 12 also announced a revised football schedule. The teams will play nine conference games and one non-conference game, but the start of the conference schedule will be delayed until Sept. 26. Each team will have two weeks off in order to have flexibility just in case a game gets postponed. The Big 12 Championship game also has flexibility as it's set for either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19. Some of the notable games included Iowa State at Oklahoma State (Oct. 24), TCU at Baylor (Oct. 31) and Iowa State at Texas (Nov. 28). The biggest game on the Big 12 schedule is Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, which is set for Nov. 21.

"The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we've seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions' ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes."

It was reported the Big 12 was split on the decision to play this fall. Mack Rhoades, the athletic director at Baylor told SicEm365 Radio in Waco, Texas that he excepted a "really, really close" vote when the league got together and voted on Tuesday. Along with the Big 12, the SEC, ACC, American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference are still moving forward with football.