Aug 6, 2020 - Sports

Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing amid the pandemic

An illustration of a stadium in a quarantine glass.

Division I college football is trudging ahead amid the pandemic.

Driving the news: Every Power Five league plans to play conference-only schedules (two minor exceptions aside) beginning as early as Sept. 5, with championship games slated for mid-December.

Big Ten: 10-game, conference-only schedule that will run from Sept. 5 to Dec. 5. With two bye weeks per team, a third bye week in November and "strategic sequencing" in the season's first three weeks, there's ample room for flexibility.

Pac-12: 10-game, conference-only schedule with one bye week per team and a week off in mid-December. The plan is to begin on Sep. 26 and end on Dec. 18 or 19.

  • "We are united": Hundreds of players are threatening to opt out unless various demands are met. Two Washington State players have already opted out.
  • Loan program: The conference plans to offer loans of up to $83 million per school to help offset losses should the season be canceled.

ACC: 11-game schedule that includes one non-conference game, which must be played in the home state of the participating ACC school. The season will run from Sept. 12 to either Dec. 12 or 19, with two byes per team.

  • Notre Dame: The Irish, normally one of seven Independent FBS members, will temporarily join the ACC.
  • No divisions: The championship game will be determined by the top-two teams based on conference winning percentage, rather than the standard division winners.

SEC: 10-game, conference-only schedule (Sep. 26 to Dec. 19) with one bye week per team and a conference-wide week off on Dec. 12.

Big 12: 10-game schedule that includes one non-conference game, which they hope to complete before league play begins. The season is slated to run from mid-to-late September to early-to-mid December.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that ACC non-conference games must be played in the home state of the participating conference school (not solely against intra-state opponents).

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