With Big Ten rivalry games between Michigan-Ohio State and Indiana-Perdue cancelled this weekend, it’s now official: the biggest competition in the 2020 season isn’t between college football programs but the immune systems of student athletes and the novel coronavirus. According to CBS Sports, 124 FBS games have been postponed or cancelled through Week 15. The consensus best player and best coach have both had COVID. Nearly a dozen Bowl games have been axed from the schedule. It's been brutal.
Which brings us to the Ohio State conundrum. Yes, haters in Michigan have a point: By waiving the requirement that teams play at least six games to be eligible for the championship game, the Big Ten changed the rules in favor of a specific team in the middle of a season. But if we’re talking about fairness, #4 Ohio State was getting punished for the COVID problems in other programs. They beat the pants off of Michigan State last weekend while playing without 23 players and missing their head coach. Even if Michigan had pulled off the miracle upset in The Game, the Buckeyes still would have advanced to the Big Ten Championship game by virtue of their tiebreaker over Indiana. This was the most fair resolution.
Because of the Michigan-OSU cancellation, the game between #21 Colorado and Utah slides into its spot in FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff on Saturday (the 10am local start makes it the earliest game to be played in the nearly 100 year history of Boulder's Folsom Field). If you want to feel sorry for a team, the Buffs are deserving. With their Nov. 28 game against the USC Trojans scrapped due to a COVID outbreak in the USC program, 4-0 Colorado missed their chance to play the only other undefeated team in the PAC-12. Unless the UCLA Bruins can upset the #15 Trojans on Saturday night, CU won't advance to the PAC-12 Championship game despite their unblemished record.
If there’s an upside to the upheaval in college football, it’s a bonus weekend of games that will take place next weekend. The SEC announced a new slate of Dec. 19 games last week, and now the Big Ten and PAC-12 are following suit. While they won’t release the schedule until after Saturday’s games are played, the goal is for every Big Ten team to play next weekend, in addition to the Championship Game between the Buckeyes and #14 Northwestern. As for the PAC-12, the Mercury News has a good explainer of where things stand at the moment, along with the various options for next week’s matchups.
So we’ll get an extra weekend of the regular season before an abridged Bowl Season gets underway the week of Dec. 20. There’s a lot that remains to be seen, and there will be some unhappy teams when the final College Football Playoff Rankings are released (at least that part remains consistent). But as we near the end of an incredibly challenging college football season, we can at least agree on one thing about this year: It hasn't been boring.
Check out this week’s full college football schedule below, we’ll update this post with the latest changes to the braodcast schedule as necessary.
UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, the PAC-12 announced that because of COVID issues in the Huskies program, Saturday's game between Washington and Oregon has been cancelled. As a result, the 3-1 Huskies will finish atop the PAC-12 North standings and are slated to play in next week's conference championship.
CFB Week 15 - Saturday, Dec. 12
|Away Team||Home Team||Time||Channel|
|North Texas||UTEP||6:00pm (12/11)||ESPN3|
|Arizona State||Arizona||7:00pm (12/11)||ESPN|
|Nevada||San José State||10:00pm (12/11)||CBSSN*|
|#1 Alabama||Arkansas||12:00 PM||ESPN|
|#9 Georgia||#25 Missouri||12:00 PM||SECN|
|Illinois||#14 Northwestern||12:00 PM||ESPN2|
|Utah||#21 Colorado||12:00 PM||FOX^|
|Northern Illinois||Eastern Michigan||12:00 PM||ESPN3|
|Western Michigan||Ball State||12:00 PM||ESPN+*|
|Wake Forest||Louisville||12:00 PM||ACCN|
|Michigan State||Penn State||12:00 PM||ESPN3|
|#13 Coastal Carolina||Troy||3:00 PM||ESPN+*|
|Central Michigan||Toledo||3:00 PM||ESPN3|
|#17 North Carolina||#10 Miami||3:30 PM||ESPN3|
|Wisconsin||#16 Iowa||3:30 PM||FS1|
|#20 Texas||Kansas||3:30 PM||ESPNU|
|#22 Oklahoma State||Baylor||3:30 PM||ESPN|
|California||Washington State||4:00 PM||FOX^|
|Duke||Florida State||4:00 PM||ACCN|
|Boise State||Wyoming||6:00 PM||CBSSN*|
|Appalachian State||Georgia Southern||6:00 PM||ESPN3|
|LSU||#6 Florida||7:00 PM||ESPN|
|Louisiana Tech||TCU||7:00 PM||FS1|
|#15 USC||UCLA||7:30 PM||ESPN3|
|Auburn||Mississippi State||7:30 PM||SECN|
|Virginia||Virginia Tech||8:00 PM||ACCN|
|San Diego State||#18 BYU||10:00 PM||ESPN2|
|Stanford||Oregon State||10:30 PM||ESPNU|
|Fresno State||New Mexico||10:30 PM||FS1|
|Michigan||#4 Ohio State||Canceled||N/A|
|Ole Miss||#5 Texas A&M||Postponed||N/A|
|#8 Cincinnati||#24 Tulsa||Canceled||N/A|
|#11 Oklahoma||West Virginia||Canceled||N/A|
|Miami (OH)||Bowling Green||Canceled||N/A|
|Incarnate Word||Arkansas State||Canceled||N/A|
*Full game not available on Sling
^Games may be restricted based on market
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