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COVID-19 and college football: Where each Power 5 conference stands on 2020 schedule

Sporting News — (Bill Bender)

The COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States, and it continues to impact the looming 2020 college football season.  

The Power 5 conferences in the FBS have already shifted their views about a potential season, but not everybody is on the same page. The conference-only model is in effect in some places, but it is not a universal plan. 

BENDER: Conference-only is college football's best hope for 2020

The season is supposed to start Aug. 29, but that seems like a stretch given the state of the five most powerful conferences.  

Here is a closer look at where each one stands:  

ACC 

On July 29, the ACC unveiled a plus-one model for the 2020 college football season. Notre Dame, a FBS independent, will be a full member as part of that 10-game conference scheule. 

The Irish also are eligible to compete in the conference championship game, which is scheduled for either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Notre Dame will split its television revenue with the other schools in the conference, and that includes money generated from its NBC television contract. 

The schedule left room for one nonconference game. The conference announced that the first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12, and the 11-game schedule will span a 13-week period with two weeks.  

Big Ten  

The Big Ten was the first to adopt a conference-only model for the 2020 season, announcing the change on July 9.  

That means key nonconference games such as Michigan-Washington, Oregon-Ohio State and Notre Dame-Wisconsin won’t happen. The 11 nonconference games with the Mid-American Conference also are off the schedule.  

The Big Ten plays a nine-game conference schedule (six intradvision, three crossover), so it will be interesting to see whether there are changes to the matchups.  

Big 12 

According to ESPN.com, conference will decide in late July how to proceed.  

"As we go forward, we're going to have our own set of criteria," commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We're mostly relying on the advice of scientists and doctors who are advising us. We believe the decisions ought to be made slightly later." 

The Big 12 also canceled its plan for a virtual media day on Aug. 3. 

Pac-12 

The Pac-12 followed the Big Ten’s lead and moved to a conference-only model for 2020 on July 10.  

"Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities," commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.  

The Pac-12, like the Big Ten, plays nine conference games, but this year it won't be playing in nonconference games that could have helped its College Football Playoff chances. The conference has not been represented in the Playoff the last three seasons and has the fewest appearances (two) among the Power 5 conferences. 

SEC 

On July 30, the SEC moved to a conference-only model for the 2020 college football season. Sports Illustrated first reported the news

The SEC will begin play on Sept. 26, which is three weeks after the scheduled start of the college football season. The SEC will maintain its seven-team division format, and teams will play two more crossover games with the new schedule. In addition, the SEC has moved its conference championship game to Dec. 19. 

Traditional SEC-ACC rivalry games such as Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville, Georgia-Georgia Tech and South Carolina-Clemson will not be played as a result of the decision.