AMES — College football schedules have been in flux since the Big Ten was the first conference to announce a conference-only schedule for the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When other conferences followed suit, the Big 12 had to make a decision on what it was going to do.
The Big 12 has come up with its solution.
The conference announced Monday that teams will play nine conference games plus one nonconference game that must be a home game.
Iowa State recently added Ball State to its schedule to replace the Cy-Hawk game but now the Cyclones have to choose between three nonconference home games. The three teams Iowa State can choose from are South Dakota, Ball State and UNLV.
ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard told The Gazette that Iowa State does not know which nonconference game it will play. He said it will depend on what the other conferences do in response to the Big 12 moving to its nine-plus-one schedule. He added that it will take time to sort things out.
“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,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a press release. “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.”
According to the release from the Big 12, it has still not determined when it will begin the conference games but it anticipates the conference games beginning between mid-September and late September. The conference is also prepared to have a flexible conference championship date that could take place either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19.
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