Press "Enter" to skip to content

SEC decision leaves Big 12 alone among Power 5


Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman
Published 8:31 p.m. ET July 30, 2020 | Updated 8:36 p.m. ET July 30, 2020

CLOSE

SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports sat down with former NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France to discuss the possibility of no college football this season and the financial ramifications that would follow.

USA TODAY

Earlier Thursday, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder suggested that patience is “the buzzword” in this pandemic-stricken climate.

I know what he meant. Stay calm. Keep a steady hand. Make rational decisions. That’s good advice for everything concerning life in coronavirus America.

Until you’re boxed out. Until most of the decisions are made for you.

That’s where Big 12 football found itself Thursday, when the SEC voted to play a league-only schedule of 10 games with a Sept. 26 start. Coming on the heels of the ACC decision to play no out-of-state non-conference games, the Big 12 is the last league standing. Which is not a good thing in musical chairs or college football scheduling.

No Oklahoma-Tennessee. No Texas-LSU. No West Virginia-Florida State. No Baylor-Ole Miss. No Kansas State-Vanderbilt. No Kansas-Boston College. Already gone were Oklahoma State-Oregon State, Iowa State-Iowa, Texas Tech-Arizona, West Virginia-Maryland and TCU-California.

College football is staging its own quarantine. No strange bedfellows in this crazy 2020 season. When the going gets tough, you banish the infidels and hunker down together.

That leaves the Big 12 with a decision to make. Conference competition only, which ostensibly means a nine-game season, or playing a regional opponent or two in non-conference. Oklahoma State-Tulsa. Oklahoma-Missouri State. Texas Tech-UTEP. TCU-SMU.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Thursday on ESPN Radio that both a conference-only and a 10-game model could be under discussion Monday when Big 12 presidents meet.

The conference-only path means Big 12 teams would be playing opponents that have the same testing protocols and pandemic procedures. Some non-conference opponents have agreed to follow the same guidelines as their Big 12 foe leading up to the game — Missouri State with Oklahoma, for example, but that has come with the Sooners providing the testing costs.

The 10-game model would mean the Big 12 would be matching its fellow Power 5 conferences in games played. The other four, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, are playing 10-game, conference-only schedules. That can happen in the Big 12 only by playing an opponent twice, which I suppose is possible but not likely.

I have no idea which way the Big 12 will lean.

“I prefer the consensus of the Big 12 presidents and ADs,” Holder said. “This will be a group decision.”

OPINION: SEC’s conference-only schedule prioritizes dollars ahead of playoff

MORE: With SEC football moving to conference-only schedule, millions in guaranteed payments in limbo

WHAT’S THE RUSH? ACC’s football decision is part of big college sports gamble

PROVING ITSELF: With full ACC schedule, Notre Dame has unique opportunity

The 10-game model is better. For one thing, it just makes more sense. An Oklahoma State-Tulsa game or Oklahoma-Missouri State game is exactly the kind of geographic conciseness needed in these times. The closer the better. Nine West Virginia games already will include major trips. That seems to be more problematic than getting Ball State or Louisiana Tech to adhere to Big 12-level testing.

For another, with the other leagues playing 10 games, the Big 12 doesn’t want to be the lone nine-game league. That would put the Big 12 at a financial disadvantage, at a perception disadvantage and at a competitive disadvantage, if there indeed is a playoff this season and that sort of thing matters come autumn.

“I think in the end, we will all be comparable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to be identical,” Bowlsby said.

Heck, I don’t know why the Big 12 couldn’t OK an 11-game schedule. Each team could schedule two non-conference games, and if one is canceled for virus reasons, you’ve got a spare.

Cross-country games seem silly. Oklahoma-Army, Texas-South Florida, Kansas State-Buffalo. That’s just asking for trouble. Scrap those games.

But non-conference games against regional opponents? Those make perfect sense, if you’re going to try to play a season.

The Big 12 could sprinkle some conference games to earlier in the season, to fill out early-season television windows and give teams some cushion for virus-related postponements throughout the season.

“There’s a lot happening,” Bowlsby said. “We think it’s important we get the conference portion of our schedule absolutely right, then we’ll see what happens with the rest of it.”

Bowlsby said he did get courtesy calls this week from ACC commissioner John Swofford and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, alerting him to their news before it became public. He said the conferences still are working together.

Bowlsby said his early-pandemic talk of cooperation caused some to jump to “the conclusion that meant we were all going to end up with one model that was exactly the same. I don’t know that aspirationally that was our intent.

“This is a very difficult time for certainty. Patience is in short supply. Sometimes, leadership is embodied in the lack of action as opposed to do something forthright.”

The Big 12 has played it cautious. But now it’s the last league standing, and it’s time to decide.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions



Source link

Adrian Woody
Adrian Woody Author
Contributor At Industry News Blog

Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *