Week 0 football? Oklahoma, Kansas move up season openers one week earlier
While a good chunk of college football conferences at the FBS levels are rumored to be looking at delaying the start of the 2020 season, two Big 12 programs could be starting the upcoming campaign earlier than previously scheduled.
On Saturday, both Oklahoma and Kansas announced that they will play FCS opponents to start the this year. Those games are currently scheduled for Aug. 29, or Week 0 for college football.
Both schools received approval from the NCAA.
First, Kansas announced that it will host Southern Illinois in its season opener on Aug. 29. Previously, the Jayhawks were scheduled to play New Hampshire on Sept. 5 to open the season, but the Colonial Athletic Association postponed all fall sports.
“As we researched options for replacing our cancelled opening game, we received recommendations from our medical professionals, reviewed the opportunity with our campus leaders, and looked regionally for a quality opponent,” said Kansas AD Jeff Long. “Importantly, Southern Illinois agreed to follow the Big 12 testing protocols once they have been finalized. SIU provides us a challenge as we open the 2020 season.”
Later in the day, Oklahoma announced that it has also scheduled a game for Week 0. The Sooners were already scheduled to play Missouri State to open the season, but it was initially scheduled for Sept. 5. Now, OU will host the FCS program one week earlier.
“If the season is indeed permitted to start as scheduled, the benefit of extra time between games will help our teams manage any variety of possible circumstances that may occur,” said Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione. “Our original schedule had an open date between the second and third games, so now we will have a span of five weeks to play three games. It provides us a more gradual approach to safely manage the conditions of these unprecedented times. We’re thankful to Missouri State for their cooperation during this process and to the NCAA for allowing both teams to start the season a week earlier.”
We’ll see if these games are able to proceed as scheduled, or if there will be more changes to the schedule.