The Big 12 made their scheduling announcement Monday evening, the last of the Power Five conferences to do so. Despite arriving late to the party, they brought the same thing as their mates, following the lead of most leagues to go with a ten game schedule, accounting for their ten team membership by including one out of conference matchup. The Athletic was first to break the story:
Sources tell me and @max_olson that the Big 12 approved a plan to play 9+1 schedule. Nine league games, one nonconference game.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 4, 2020
The model most closely resembles that of the ACC, which will play ten conference games plus an instate rivalry matchup. The Big 12, the smallest of the P5 groupings with just ten teams, will hold their regular round robin format but allow each team to add one game to their schedule. It’s also being reported that the non conference game would need to be played at the home stadiums of the Big 12 team.
Many programs had already seen marquee matchups cancelled when the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 12 conference elected to go with a conference-only format, but there are still interesting rivalry games on deck (Oklahoma State-Tulsa and TCU-SMU for example).
This specifically impacts the Horned Frogs, who were scrambling to replace their week one and week three opponents (Cal and Prairie View) and were rumored to be a candidate to open Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas against UNLV in week zero. But with the SMU game the only non-conference affair still under official contract, it’s likely that the Frogs and Ponies will continue their long-standing Battle for the Iron Skillet — that is if the Mustangs are willing to play back to back games in Fort Worth.
The details of the schedule are expected to be finalized in the coming days, but as it currently stands TCU would open the season against SMU on September 26th. No official start date for the season has been announced, but several teams are currently set to open with week zero matchups.
As far as the Big 12 title game, The Athletic is reporting a delay and potential change in venue:
“If the Big 12’s title game must get pushed to Dec. 19, multiple sources have indicated the title game could move to nearby Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new $1.2 billion ballpark, if there are scheduling conflicts. The UIL Texas high school football championships for class 1A-4A are scheduled for Dec. 16-19 at AT&T Stadium, and the Cowboys are scheduled to host the 49ers on Dec. 20.”
We will update with more information as it becomes available.