The Oklahoma Sooners have moved their opening game of the 2020 season back from September 5th back a week to August 29th, or “Week 0” which is normally reserved for the Hawai’i Rainbows and the teams that face them.
The thought of college football teams moving games up instead of back in the current environment, where some schools are quarantining the entire roster and staff following positive tests, might seem a bit strange. But this move does make some sense as it gives clarity to the schedule, and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione seems pretty realistic about the facts on the ground regarding a potential season.
“If the season is indeed permitted to start as scheduled, the benefit of extra time between games will help our teams manage any variety of possible circumstances that may occur,” said Castiglione. “Our original schedule had an open date between the second and third games, so now we will have a span of five weeks to play three games. It provides us a more gradual approach to safely manage the conditions of these unprecedented times. We’re thankful to Missouri State for their cooperation during this process and to the NCAA for allowing both teams to start the season a week earlier.”
The move indicates the NCAA was amenable to one FBS school adding some flexibility by playing before the traditional Labor Day opening weekend without an exemption, and that might cause other collegiate athletics leadership to look for the same relief.
It still seems pretty unlikely we’ll have anything resembling a normal 2020 college football season, but if so at least the NCAA is willing to work with schools to make things as easy as possible.