It was only a matter of time until the Big 12 Conference decided to shorten its regular-season schedule for this upcoming football season.
The league confirmed this news on Monday night when it announced its conference members will play just a 10-game season in 2020.
WVU football will play against the nine other Big 12 opponents, as well as one additional team.
The Big 12’s decision comes almost an entire month after other conferences decided to move to a conference-only schedule. The Big Ten and Pac-12 both announced these changes in early July.
Up until this weekend, the conference was still considering going with a 12-game schedule. Of course, this would have been difficult to do since every other Power 5 school made the transition to a shorter schedule already.
As a result of all these precautions taken to hopefully limit the spread of COVID-19, WVU won’t play Florida State or Maryland this year.
With just one other non-conference game remaining on their schedule, it appears that the Mountaineers know who they’re playing.
Their original slate of games included a Sept. 12 contest with Eastern Kentucky. This now seems like it will be WVU’s opener this year, and the only game played out of the conference.
Each Big 12 school is looking to finish the single non-conference game prior to the beginning of league play. The non-conference tilt will also be a home game for every Big 12 member.
While a reduction in games can be considered bad news, the fact that teams are still preparing for a season is encouraging.
Big 12 Conference Football Schedule
The Big 12 waited until it had to make a decision regarding how this season would be played. In a time where basically everything is unprecedented, there’s nothing wrong with weighing all of your options.
The league wanted to play as many games as possible, but at the same time, maintain strict safety guidelines to keep everyone healthy.
Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby discussed how a lot has been accomplished, but the hard work isn’t finished, yet. According to the WV MetroNews, Bowlsby said:
“I would like to salute the work of our university presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, coaches, medical advisors and administrators who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively during these extraordinary times. We believe this change provides the best opportunity going forward. However, we will undoubtedly need to be flexible as we progress through the season in order to combat the challenges that lie ahead.”
As conferences are now prepared for a more confined season, there are still more than enough issues to overcome. If football players can’t remain healthy and on the field, then the amount of games doesn’t really matter.
Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, schools can limit the number of athletes who test positive for the coronavirus. This hasn’t been going great so far this summer.
WVU athletics has seen its share of positive cases, but like the Mountain State overall, the majority of WVU players are healthy.
As of a little over a week ago, WVU reported just one active case within the football program at this time.
The Mountaineers are in much better shape than some other football programs around the country. In the Big Ten, several schools have been forced to suspend practices because of COVID-19.
Both Rutgers and Northwestern have paused summer workouts and have players in isolation right now.
WVU Football 2020 Schedule
This football season is going to look a lot different in Morgantown. Luckily, if the original schedule holds up, the Mountaineers will have five conference games at home.
This means that six of the team’s 10 games will be played in the comfort of Milan Puskar Stadium.
It’s even possible that some WV residents will have the opportunity to go and watch the Mountaineers in person. Despite the fact that there are several coronavirus outbreaks in the US at this time, WVU athletic director Shane Lyons remains optimistic about fans.
Lyons told WV MetroNews the following:
“At one time, we were hoping to be at least fifty percent. But with the way things are right now, I don’t think that is going to be an option. If we go to social distancing, we are probably looking at 20 to 25 percent capacity. We have a few weeks until we have to make sure of that question.”
If WVU is able to host fans at these home games, guests should expect there to be a wide variety of safety measures taken. Temperature checks at the gates, along with masks, will most likely be mandatory.
Home-field advantage could be very useful for the Mountaineers. Although the 20% capacity won’t make the same noise as 60,000 people, some fans would absolutely help.
It’s quite possible that many other Big 12 schools don’t allow any fans at football games this year.
The conference is still determining when the start of Big 12 play will occur. According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, the conference schedule will kick off on either Sept. 19 or Sept. 26.
Depending on timing, the Big 12 Championship Game currently slotted for Dec. 5 might be delayed, as well.
WVU Mountaineers Potential Schedule
Based on what we now know about the Big 12 Conference and WVU’s original plans, the Mountaineers’ potential schedule is clearer.
Obviously things are subject to change; however, the following could be WVU football’s schedule this fall:
- Sept. 12 – vs. Eastern Kentucky
- Sept. 26 – vs. Kansas State
- Oct. 3 – at Texas Tech
- Oct. 10 – vs. TCU
- Oct. 17 – at Texas
- Oct. 24 – vs. Kansas
- Nov. 7 – vs. Oklahoma
- Nov. 14 – at Oklahoma State
- Nov. 21 – vs. Baylor
- Nov. 27 – at Iowa State
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Now that the calendar has turned to August, time is running out to place your preseason futures for football.
Every online sports betting app available in WV offers odds for the upcoming season. Mobile platforms include:
Currently, DraftKings shows the following odds on WVU football for this year:
Big 12 Conference Champion
- WVU +2500
- WVU +15000