As uncertainty hangs over the 2020 college football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, athletic directors and conference commissioners are considering every way to make things work. Among the possibilities, top conferences pushing back their championship games.
Athletic directors and conference commissions have largely been tight-lipped about the ongoing discussions regarding a potential college football season. With schools less than a month away from when football teams should be practicing and many players quarantined with COVID-19, that is starting to change.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who previously suggested there will be disruptions this college football season, told The Athletic that his conference is considering delaying the Big 12 Championship Game.
Bowlsby isn’t the only conference commission giving it real consideration. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott also shared with The Athletic that he has discussed moving the conference title game back.
“While our goal is to play a complete football season on the schedule originally set forth, we have a comprehensive football contingency scheduling plan that allows for maximum flexibility depending on changes necessitated by COVID-19 for health and safety reasons,” Scott said, via The Athletic. “This planning does include for the possibility of moving our Pac-12 Football Championship Game back later in December.”
The idea seems to be gaining more traction across college football. Big Ten athletic directors have reportedly discussed aligning with the Big 12 and Pac 10 by pushing back their conference title games.
While the SEC and ACC wouldn’t say if their conference championship games could be delayed, Bowlsby indicated it would likely require a coordinated decision by all Power 5 leagues. It would be the only way to ensure a level playing field for the College Football Playoff’s selection evaluation.
Even moving the conference title games back by a week would give schools extra time to either make up for a lost game or provide them some more time to prepare this summer. Given what is at stake for these conferences and schools, the University of Michigan in particular, the pressure will be on to try and have football this fall.