Long ago — you know, like March — college football schedules were largely set far in advance. But the coronavirus pandemic has forced the sport’s leaders to reshuffle the 2020 season, and whether a season will happen at all is very much in question.
Executives are still hammering out details and cautioning that even published plans might change, but here is what we know about the announced schedules for the Power 5 conferences and the College Football Playoff.
We’ll be updating this as we go.
Big Ten and Pac-12
The pandemic led two leading conferences to postpone their football seasons until at least the spring.
The basic format: Ten conference games, plus one nonconference game. Notre Dame, ordinarily an independent in football, gets to play, too.
First game: Alabama-Birmingham at Miami on Sept. 10
Potential appointment television: Florida State at Miami (Sept. 26); Virginia Tech at North Carolina (Oct. 10); Virginia Tech at Louisville (Oct. 31); Clemson at Notre Dame (Nov. 7); North Carolina at Miami (Dec. 5)
Conference championship game: Dec. 12 or 19 (Charlotte, N.C.)
The basic format: Nine conference games, and one nonconference matchup
Potential appointment television: West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Sept. 26); Texas at Oklahoma (Oct. 10 in Dallas); and Baylor at Oklahoma (Dec. 5)
Conference championship game: According to its latest schedule, the title game in Arlington, Texas, would be Dec. 12 or 19.
The basic format: Ten conference games
First games: Sept. 26
Potential appointment television: Kentucky at Auburn (Sept. 26); Georgia at Alabama (Oct. 17); L.S.U. at Auburn (Oct. 31); Florida vs. Georgia (Nov. 7 in Jacksonville, Fla.); Alabama at Louisiana State (Nov. 14); Auburn at Alabama and Mississippi State at Mississippi (Nov. 28)
Conference championship game: Dec. 19 (Atlanta)
College Football Playoff
The schedule for the playoff games has not been changed so far: The semifinal matchups are planned for Jan. 1 in New Orleans and Pasadena, Calif., while the championship showdown is set for Jan. 11 in the Miami area.
But the timing of the crucial final rankings has shifted. Those rankings, which determine the teams that will appear in the semifinals, are expected Dec. 20, two weeks later than planned.