Oklahoma is reportedly looking to move up its first game of the season because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Oklahoman, the Sooners have petitioned the NCAA to move up their Sept. 5 game against Missouri State to Aug. 29. FCS-level Missouri State is, per the report, OK with the move.
Oklahoma is reportedly wanting to move the game up so that it could have off weeks after each of its first two games of the season. The Sooners are set to play Tennessee on Sept. 12 before an off week on Sept. 19.
From the Oklahoman:
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione’s rationale in this pandemic-stricken year is that moving the opener would give OU an off week after each of its first two games, which could be valuable with the testing of players for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The college football season, as of now, is set to officially begin over the Labor Day weekend, though there are six games scheduled on Aug. 29. The season is set to conclude (outside of Army-Navy) on the first weekend of December with conference title games before the bowl season.
Oklahoma’s idea sounds like a good one in a vacuum. But will it ultimately pan out even if it’s approved by the NCAA?
The Big Ten made the first move on Thursday when it announced that its teams would play conference-only schedules in 2020. It seems highly unlikely that the Big Ten would be the only Power Five conference to eliminate non-conference games in 2020 because of the scheduling ripple effects that it has caused with the move. Teams that were scheduled to play Big Ten teams are scrambling to find new games if their conferences are going to play non-conference games at all.
If the Big 12 (and other Power Five conferences) follows the lead of the Big Ten, then there’s no need for Oklahoma to worry about its game with Missouri State. It won’t happen.
At the moment, the Big 12 hasn’t given any indication that it will make a similar decision to the Big Ten. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement Thursday that “At this time our medical and scientific advisors have suggested we should move ahead slowly with constant re-evaluation. We plan to continue to prepare for all available scenarios until we are informed that some are no longer viable.”
Oklahoma is clearly planning for a lot of scenarios too.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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