The Big Ten Conference recently took the first steps toward a reduced football season, which could affect Kansas football.
Now that the Big Ten has broken the ice and announced that their fall sports will only be played within their conference if they play at all, other conferences are sure to follow. The Pac-12 is rumored to be moving to a format similar to the Big Ten, the ACC is has canceled all games set to play before Septemeber 1, and SEC athletic directors are set to meet on Monday to discuss Fall sports. Interestingly, the Big 12 has yet to make an announcement, so how does this affect Kansas football?
For the Jayhawks, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be playing any non-conference games. Kansas was slated to face Boston College, an ACC school; however, the ACC has already made one adjustment, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they joined the Pac-12 and Big Ten soon.
On that same note, the Big 12 will likely release a statement at some point in the near future regarding Fall sports. It’s hard to imagine a team like Coastal Carolina or New Hampshire even having a football season, so there doesn’t seem to be a point in planning on non-conference games.
At this point, it’d probably be smart for the NCAA to issue some kind of uniform standard for the 2020 football season, especially if another power-conference or two decides to go league-only Fall sports. The sad thing is, the NCAA may end up just canceling the season outright, which seems like a very real possibility at this point.
Considering how many people travel with a football team (players, coaches, trainers, support staff, fans, etc.), it’s just really difficult to see how a “normal” season would work.
For Kansas football, losing their non-conference games would make it really difficult for them to win more than just a game or maybe two. According to ESPN’s FPI, the Jayhawks’ top three chances for wins came against New Hampshire, Coastal Carolina, and Boston College, so without those games, there probably won’t be a bowl for Kansas. If we even have bowl games this season.
Right now, the best-case scenario is likely to have conference-only games with little to no fan attendance. While not having a 2020 Kansas football season would be depressing, there may be no other option for the conferences and the NCAA, unless there are some major developments between now and September.