Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby may have shed some light on why six FBS conferences are so adamant about pressing forward with a fall football season.

While four conferences have already opted out of the fall season — MAC, Mountain West, B1G and Pac-12 — six still remain. The AAC, ACC, Big 12, C-USA, SEC and Sun Belt are hoping to complete their revised schedules in the coming months, despite concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with Chip Brown of 247Sports, Bowlsby explained why the league is still moving towards a fall season right now. And he says, if football doesn’t take place this fall, it’s incredibly unlikely that any college athletics will be played in the 2020-21 academic year. At least in the Big 12.

Bowlsby said if there’s no football in the Big 12 this fall, “it’s likely” there will not be any sports played in the conference this academic year “based on what I’ve heard from our campuses.”

That would be even more devastating to college athletic departments, which have already suffered incredible financial hardships. It also indicates that spring football would not be a realistic possibility, at least in the Big 12.

It’s an interesting bit of information from the Big 12, and could provide the explanation we need as to why the six conferences still planning on playing football this fall have not yet backed away from that approach.