Big 12 Revises Fall Schedule: Texas-UTEP Opener Moves Up One Week
While the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided earlier this week to postpone fall sports, the Big 12 still has plans to play this fall. And as of now, the UTEP-Texas opener is still on with a new date in place due to a league-wide schedule adjustment.
In the nine-plus-one format, the Big 12 will delay the start of conference play until the weekend of Sept. 26. The late start will also allow each team to schedule one non-conference opponent after Sept. 1. UTEP versus Texas, originally set for Sept. 19, will now be held on Sept. 12 in Austin.
Both programs will open the season on Sept. 12 Royal-Memorial Stadium, which was confirmed by Texas Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte on Wednesday. Previously, UTEP was scheduled to play Nevada on Sept. 12, while the Longhorns were set to play LSU on that date.
The Big 12 revealed their revisions to each of the 10 school's schedules after the board of directors ruled to proceed as planned with football in the fall.
"Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the board's collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being," Big 12 board of directors chairman and TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement on Wednesday. "We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course."
The new schedule changes gives each Big 12 school two bye weeks, in the event that a schedule change needs to be made. The league title game will be held either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19. The Red River Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma will stay at the Cotton Bowl on Oct. 10 even though the state fair has been canceled.
Conference USA Board of Directors released a statement on Wednesday in regard to the postponement of fall football. Earlier this week, Old Dominion announced it wouldn't play football this season due to COVID-19 concerns.
"Conference USA membership continued evaluation, including robust discussion with medical experts, on Wednesday night. Myocarditis, mental health and extensive testing protocols remain the focus," wrote the league in a statement Wednesday.
On the day before their first padded practice was set to take place, UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter and head coach Dana Dimel announced the postponement of fall camp on Sunday due to four players testing positive for COVID-19. The team plans to retest the players this week to determine whether or not to allow practice to take place.