Report: Big 12 going forward with football season; “Power Five” on opposite sides

Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Matt Belinson

With the Big Ten and Pac 12 on one side, and the SEC and ACC on the other, it seemed as if the fate of college football fell into the hands of the Big 12 as conference officials met Tuesday evening.

After hours of deliberation Tuesday night, the Big 12 is expected to move forward with playing college football this fall according to multiple reports with knowledge of the meeting Tuesday evening.

Those on the call included Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the league’s board of directors and the ten athletic directors in the conference. was first to report the news that Big 12 presidents would allow the conference to move forward as scheduled with a revised schedule and new health and safety protocols which are expected to be announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes the same day as the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences announced the postponement of the 2020 football season and other fall sports to the spring of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, the Big 12’s meeting Tuesday evening was viewed by many in the college football world as the “lynch pin” to determine if football would be played as planned in September. 

With the Big Ten and Pac 12 seemingly hand-in-hand in the decision to postpone football to the spring, the Big 12, the last of the “Power Five” conferences to make a formal announcement on plans to play college football this fall, stood as the swing vote to determine the collective fate of college football this fall.

The SEC and ACC released statements Tuesday announcing the conferences would be moving forward with the intent to play football this fall.

And with the conferences being so far apart on their respective decisions, Greg Sankey, commissioner of the SEC, went so far as to release a statement questioning the reasoning behind the Big Ten and Pac 12 postponements.

With the backdrop of the four other major conferences locked into their respective positions, the Big 12 stood as deciding vote to make a statement on what would happen with college football. 

And for the time being, it looks as if the Big 12, SEC and ACC will give it a go and play football.