Each team has two open weeks, and the schedule has four weeks built in to reschedule games.
In that scenario, with the nine-game Big 12 slate not beginning until at least three weeks after KU's August 29 opener, the Jayhawks could potentially move their matchup with Southern Illinois to a later date to avoid a prolonged break between games.
While the schedule is constructed in a way to allow the season to start as early as the weekend of September 5, it also provides the ability to move the start of the season back to September 12, 19 or 26 through strategic sequencing that allows games to be moved to a latter part of the schedule.
The Big Ten also announced medical protocols, including twice weekly testing for COVID-19.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren sat down with Big Ten Network on Wednesday to discuss the release and challenges associated with playing football during a global pandemic.
The Big 12 Championship Game is still scheduled for December 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but this model allows for flexibility to change the date to December 12 or 19, if necessary.
"Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate a safe return to campus for our students this fall", Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President, said. The Big 12 has yet to release when it will start its season or what the schedule will look like. Ohio State will limit home crowds to about 20,000 and prohibit tailgating if the football season is played this fall.
Big Ten competition start dates for men's and women's cross-country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball have been postponed through at least September 5. The league also will use a third-party laboratory to conduct centralized testing and "consistency in surveillance and pre-competition testing".
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Testing frequency will be based on the level of contact risk within each sport and is required for athletes, coaches and staff depending upon exposure to the athletes.
One of the first things to notice is the annual Ohio State/Michigan game.
Cross-division games are now scheduled for all schools in Week 1 (Sept. 5) and Week 12 (Nov. 21).
"If you start to think about how we're going to do school. how's the season going to work, how's my eligibility going to be at the end?"
The changes that are inevitable for KU's schedule, the athletic department made clear Tuesday, won't be announced until they are finalized.
"Our players have shown patience and dedication during the most recent period of conditioning and off-season workouts, and now we are excited to begin the process of preparing for a football season".
Other schools indicated they'd announce ticket or attendance plans later.