On Friday, the Big 12 suffered the first postponement in its attempts to play college football in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as TCU Horned Frogs athletics director Jeremiah Donati announced the cancelation of the program’s season opener against the SMU Mustangs scheduled for Sept. 11.
TCU vs. SMU game update. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/RBWloCuUJh— Jeremiah Donati (@JDonati_TCU) September 4, 2020
Donati cited a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the program effecting players and support staff. TCU and SMU will attempt to reschedule the game later in the season, which features two bye weeks in the Big 12, as well as the potential to move the Big 12 Championship make a week.
As Donati broke that news, the Big 12 released its cancelation thresholds for the season, confirming comments earlier this week made by Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard.
The conference set the minimum number of players required to play a game at 53, a number based on the entire roster, including scholarship and walk-on players. There are also minimum thresholds at three positions — quarterback (1), offensive line (7), and interior defensive line (4).
Failing to meet the minimum threshold will not provide an automatic cancelation, as teams can opt to play as scheduled. If a coronavirus outbreak does result in a cancelation, commissioner Bob Bowlsby will declare the game a no-contest if it can’t be rescheduled. So the game won’t count as a forfeited loss on the season record.