NCAA Football Oversight Committee Follows Sooners' Lead

Parker Thune

Per a tweet Tuesday morning from Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, the NCAA's Football Oversight Committee requested a waiver for any FBS team to move their season opener to Aug. 29. 

The NCAA granted the request expediently, and schools will now have the option to move their openers to what is informally known as "Week 0." According to Thamel, the NCAA notified conference offices of the decision on Monday evening.

This comes less than 72 hours after Oklahoma gained approval to move its tilt with Missouri State. Originally scheduled for Sept. 5, the game will now be played Aug. 29 after the NCAA gave their blessing to the date change.

Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione had been working with the NCAA and the Missouri State athletic department for weeks in an effort to move the opener. He'd stated last Friday that a decision on the matter was "very close," and sure enough, news of the schedule shift became official just a day later.

It seems likely that the NCAA will do their best to encourage teams to move their openers to the final week of August, especially given the recent surge of COVID-19 cases within the Miami Marlins organization. Just days into the MLB's drastically altered 2020 schedule, the Marlins' outbreak has thrown a brand new wrench into the league's last-ditch effort to save the season.

In an ideal world, Week 1 of college football brings no adverse health consequences, but in reality, there will undoubtedly be bumps in the road. Moving openers to Aug. 29 would allow teams to effectively observe an open date in the first week of September, which might prove necessary as programs react and adjust to any flaws in the ointment of their COVID-19 mitigation plans.

Barring any further hitches, all three of the Sooners' nonconference games are currently set to proceed as scheduled. After their game with Missouri State and the Sept. 5 bye, Oklahoma squares off with Tennessee on Sept. 12. Another open date follows on Sept. 19, and the Sooners then hit the road to do battle with Army on Sept. 26.

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