Big 12 football going 9+1 model for 2020 season scheduling

Big 12. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
Big 12. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

Big 12 football is going with a nine-plus-one model for the 2020 season.

The Big 12 football season will look slightly different than it has in years past for 2020.

On Monday evening, the Big 12 Board of Directors announced the Power 5 conference will play its normal nine conference games, as well as a 10th game in the non-conference to round out its 2020 season schedule. The Big 12 joins the ACC as the only Power 5 conferences to not strictly go conference-only for the upcoming 2020 campaign. Maybe they’ll schedule games together?

“I would like to salute the work of our university presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, coaches, medical advisors and administrators who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively during these extraordinary times,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

“We believe this change provides the best opportunity going forward.  However, we will undoubtedly need to be flexible as we progress through the season in order to combat the challenges that lie ahead.”

The expectation is for the Big 12 to play its non-conference game early this season, while its nine-game conference slate to commence in mid-to-late September. The conference championship game is expected to be played on either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19. Again, flexibility is key here, as it is with everything in the age of the coronavirus. What are the impacts of going nine-plus-one?

Does having only nine conference games hurt the Big 12’s playoff viability?

In recent years, playing nine conference games has been to the Big 12’s advantage when it comes to reaching the College Football Playoff. Because the Big 12 only has 10 member institutions, everybody plays everybody once. In the last few years, the two best teams in conference play meet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to play for a conference championship.

So we can totally understand why the Big 12 didn’t go with a 10th conference game for this one-of-a-kind college football season. It would add some major scheduling disparity for this Power 5 conference. Would we be getting the Bedlam Series twice? Who would the Texas Longhorns play twice if the Oklahoma Sooners had to play the in-state Oklahoma State Cowboys twice?

Obviously, you can see the issues at hand. Because other conferences haven’t ruled out playing outside of themselves, the Big 12 can keep maybe 10 non-conference games alive in early September or if they are pushed up to early August. Maybe the schedule a road date with the ACC in the home state of the ACC team in question? No, they’ll schedule Group of 5 teams than do that.

As for if this hurts the Big 12’s playoff viability, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee probably won’t dock them too bad for going with nine conference games over 10 this year. If Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Texas go 9-0 and win the Big 12 Conference Championship, they’re getting in. However with one conference loss, maybe the four other Power 5’s have an advantage?

Going nine-plus-one is an interesting, but expected route for Big 12 football to follow in 2020.

Next. College coaches who would be the life of the tailgate party. dark

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.