Iowa State AD Says Big 12 Play Expected To Begin Sept. 26

Parker Thune

It wouldn't be 2020 if everything went according to planned - or even if a single thing went according to planned.

And now the waters look all the more muddied for Joe Castiglione and the Oklahoma athletic department as they try to iron out their final 2020 football schedule.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard has informed fans that Big 12 play is expected to begin Sept. 26, as initially reported by 247Sports' Michael Swain on Thursday morning.

The Sept. 26 start date is exactly what OU would have hoped to avoid, as it reduces the feasibility of the Sooners' home matchup with Missouri State. Originally scheduled for Sept. 5, the game was flexed to Aug. 29 last month to allow the Sooners additional flexibility in dealing with any unforeseen consequences of COVID-19.

If Sept. 26 is indeed the date on which Big 12 play opens, Oklahoma would prefer to play their single nonconference matchup on Sept. 12 and observe a single open date before the beginning of conference play. However, Missouri State is already scheduled to play Montana on the 12th. Thus, the Bears would have to break contract on that matchup if they wanted to keep their tilt with the Sooners on the schedule.

Oklahoma would seemingly have no desire to play an FCS foe on Aug. 29 (or even Sept. 5) and wait until Sept. 26 for their next contest. Thus, if Missouri State is unable to rearrange their schedule as necessary to salvage their trip to Norman, the Sooners will need to look elsewhere for a nonconference opponent. Arkansas State and North Texas appear to be the two most plausible contenders, at least from a geographical standpoint.

SI Sooners will provide updates as soon as the Big 12 gives an official word on conference scheduling.

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