The Big 12 will continue moving forward with the intent of playing fall football, multiple sources told ESPN on Tuesday, confirming a Yahoo Sports report.
Much attention was on the Big 12 meeting after the ACC and SEC publicly affirmed their intentions to continue moving forward.
The decision leaves three of the Power 5 conferences intent on playing — for now.
The Big 12 athletic directors met late Tuesday following the board of directors meeting.
A revised Big 12 schedule is expected to be released soon, sources told ESPN. Teams will still play their “9-plus-1” schedules, with nine conference games and one nonconference game, but the start of the conference season will be delayed until Sept. 26.
The news comes on the heels of the league’s reportedly being split on the decision of whether to play. Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades told SicEm365 Radio in Waco, Texas, earlier Tuesday that if the league voted, he expected it to be “really, really close.”
With the Big 12’s decision known, the American Athletic Conference is planning to move forward as well. The American — widely considered the top Group of 5 football conference — met Tuesday morning and decided to stay the course, taking a similar position to those of the SEC and ACC. The first games across the league are scheduled for Sept. 5.
“We think it is premature to make any major decisions at this time,” American commissioner Mike Aresco told ESPN. “We continue to gather more information, and we also are monitoring the overall situation. The health and safety of our student-athletes is obviously our top priority.”
The Sun Belt Conference is expected to follow the SEC’s lead, according to sources. That would mean that at least five FBS conferences are still intent on playing fall football, while four — the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and Mid-American — have postponed their seasons.
Conference USA, which had one member postpone fall sports (Old Dominion) and another (Rice) postpone its football season until Sept. 26, has a meeting of the league’s presidents and chancellors scheduled for late Wednesday, according to sources.
FBS independents Army, BYU and Liberty still intend to play, according to sources. New Mexico State, also an independent, is down to four scheduled games — all against Conference USA and Sun Belt schools — following the recent cancellations.
“We would like to play,” New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia said. “The vast majority of our team wants to play. The coaches want to play, but we’re in a unique situation.”
Moccia told ESPN that he has fielded several calls from both Power 5 and Group of 5 teams this week, but a 14-day quarantine order for those coming into New Mexico from out of state could prevent the Aggies from playing. Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she hoped college football would be postponed.
ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, Kyle Bonagura, Heather Dinich, Mark Schlabach, Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.