NCAA grants blanket waiver for week 0 games, Texas A&M will not move up opener
NCAA has approved a blanket waiver that will allow college football teams to schedule games on Week 0 on Saturday, Aug. 29 as needed amid the coronavirus pandemic, NCAA Football Oversight Committee chairman Shayne Lyons told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. After receiving multiple requests from teams to open Week 0 for additional games, the NCAA decided to make the process easier by allowing schedule moves across the board.
Teams that are scheduled to play in Week 0 or move their games accordingly will be able to start fall camp as early as Saturday.
The attraction is that it would give teams an additional open date, but Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork says the Aggies will not move its opener up.
“We don’t know exactly what is going to happen when school starts the middle of August. I think we need that data point. So that is probably a little early for what we are thinking, but it provides flexibility. I think Oklahoma was the first to move a game up so it gives flexibility, but we’re not really thinking that way right now,” said Bjork Tuesday afternoon.
The flexibility, first reported by Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, builds in an additional bye week for potential makeup games or scheduling changes caused by players testing positive for COVID-19.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced that they will play conference-only schedules in 2020, which started a ripple effect throughout the college football world, particularly among the Power Five conferences. Schedule decisions are still being awaited from the SEC, ACC and Big 12.
There is clearly a need for college football to build in safeguards to preserve the integrity of the season and account for potential changes on the fly. As we've seen in MLB after the Miami Marlins outbreak this week, a string of positives on one team can change the plans for multiple teams and send leagues scrambling to make adjustments.
Several teams have already moved games and/or found new opponents including Oklahoma, which already moved its season-opener vs. Missouri State up one week to Aug. 29 after receiving a one-time waiver from the NCAA. Iowa State announced on Tuesday that it will play Ball State on Sept. 12 to fill the void created by the cancelation of its rivalry game with Iowa, which was canceled because of the Big Ten's decision to go with only conference games.
Since multiple teams reportedly requested waivers before the NCAA’s ruling, expect Week 0 to be a big day in the college football world.