According to a report from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the NCAA has issued a blanket waiver to all FBS programs who want to move their season-opener to week zero on August 29th due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee added new details to the news soon after Thamel’s original report, writing that teams who chose to move their opener to week zero could start practice as soon as this Saturday.
The new policy from the NCAA comes as part of the organization’s efforts to make modifications to the College Football season amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, and a few programs have already taken advantage of the NCAA’s leniency on the matter. Oklahoma, who Tennessee is currently scheduled to play in week two on September 12th, earned a waiver from the NCAA last week — moving their season opener against Missouri State back a week, creating an open week before facing off with the Vols.
A multitude of other programs submitted waivers requesting to move their season-openers prior to the NCAA’s decision — meaning week zero could become a monumental day for the College Football season this year. While it is unclear whether Tennessee will take advantage of the new rule from the NCAA, if they were to change their schedule, it would move their first game of the season against Charlotte from September 5th to August 29th.
The news also puts the SEC, ACC, and Big-12 under pressure, as they now have even less time to make a decision on whether to cancel non-conference games — with practices starting for some teams as early as Saturday. As things stand right now, only 5 games are scheduled to be played on week zero, but with the new leniency, that could change very quickly.
This article will be updated as new details and information regarding this story unfold.