NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – This weekend should have been a blank slate — a bye week for every football team in the Big 12. Instead, there are two unexpected games scheduled for Saturday.
The bye was meant to give all 10 teams a break between the pandemic-delayed season opening last weekend and the start of conference games September 26.
The change in schedule of course was due to delays and postponements because of players testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
— Baylor vs. Houston. The former Southwest Conference rivals are playing for the first time since 1995, the last season of that league. This sudden reunion, plus an additional home-and-home series, only came about last weekend after the Bears and Cougars both had games called off because of opposing teams dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks. The debut of new Baylor head coach Dave Aranda was supposed to be last Saturday against Louisiana Tech, which had a widespread outbreak in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura last month that affected Ruston, Louisiana, more than 200 miles inland. Houston had been scheduled to play this Friday night at Memphis, which also had numerous positive tests. Dana Holgorsen is in his second year as Houston’s coach after leaving Big 12 team West Virginia, where he was eight seasons.
— No. 11 Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa. This game was initially scheduled last Saturday, but was postponed five days before that to allow the virus-affected Golden Hurricane more time to prepare for the season. Tulsa had multiple positive COVID-19 tests that led last month to a nine-day pause in workouts and limited the team to seven practices over a 17-day span. Oklahoma State hasn’t lost at home to the Golden Hurricane since 1951 — a span of 21 consecutive wins. The Cowboys have preseason AP All-America running back Chuba Hubbard (2,094 yards rushing and 21 TDs) and receiver Tylan Wallace, who had 53 catches for 903 yards and eight TDS in eight games before an ACL tear.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
One team still will not have played a game after this week: Texas Christian University (TCU), which postponed its scheduled Sept. 11 opener against Southern Methodist University (SMU) after a cluster of Horned Frogs players and team support staff tested positive for COVID-19.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)