What happens if a regular season college football game must be canceled or postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak? The Big 12 has a contingency plan that makes perfect sense.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Big 12 is considering moving back the conference championship game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas one week from Dec. 5 to Dec. 12. The week in-between the originally scheduled season finale and conference title would serve as a built-in makeup week in the event that an outbreak sidelines a program for a week.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is not a member of the group of athletic directors that’s making the decisions, but he did confirm the idea has been discussed.
“I think trying to build in flexibility makes sense. That’s not the decision we’ll make this kind of year,” said Bowlsby. “I hope the season is orderly enough that those kinds of options can be viable. I suspect that we won’t have that luxury.”
It’s not a radical idea. It already happens in elementary and high schools across the country. They build holidays into the schedule that can act as make-up days for snow days. Unless there’s an unseasonably bad year of winter weather, a day or two can be missed and they will still finish on-schedule.
Of course, it’s not a perfect plan. A team may be forced to miss multiple games, then how do you decide which games to make up? Scheduling stadiums and negotiating TV contracts can also be tricky.
“It’s all of those plus the NFL considerations plus just the general scheduling,” Bowlsby said, noting that the traditional Army-Navy game is also Dec. 12. “It’s got a lot of moving parts. But we’re at the point where we’re weighing options.”
One big moving part revolves around the CFB Playoff. It would force them to delay the decision. The good news is that teams usually have a month between the regular season finale and their bowl game. If they only get three weeks off instead of a month, it’s a sacrifice most should be willing to make (especially if it could determine who is the division’s representative in the conference championship game).