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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Jayhawks still don’t know ‘when we’ll be able to play’

KU football's new 10-game schedule remains in the works

(Boston, MA, 09/13/19) Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles look back to the sidelines during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA football game against Boston College in Boston, Mass., on Friday, September 13, 2019.

(Boston, MA, 09/13/19) Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles look back to the sidelines during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA football game against Boston College in Boston, Mass., on Friday, September 13, 2019.

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The reshaping of the Kansas football program’s 2020 schedule isn’t complete yet.

Although the Big 12 determined Monday night its teams will play 10 regular-season games in the months ahead, the final version of the revised calendar is still in the works.

The changes that are inevitable for KU’s schedule, the athletic department made clear Tuesday, won’t be announced until they are finalized.

The Big 12’s release on the 10-game format stated the conference calendar will be “solidified in the coming weeks.”

KU Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a release that the conference and its administrators researched multiple scenarios to try and identify “the safest way” to play football this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are optimistic that the precautions and schedule changes adopted will position Kansas football and the Big 12 Conference to play a 10-game season,” Long said. “We will continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our physicians at Kansas Team Health and those of our conference member institutions.”

While the most recent version of the KU schedule calls for the Jayhawks to open the season a little more than three weeks from now, on Aug. 29 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, versus Southern Illinois, the Big 12 decided its conference schedule won’t begin until mid- or late-September — The Athletic reported it’s possible some Big 12 teams will play their league openers on Sept. 19 and others on Sept. 26.

In that scenario, with the nine-game Big 12 slate not beginning until at least three weeks after KU’s Aug. 29 opener, the Jayhawks could potentially move their matchup with Southern Illinois to a later date to avoid a prolonged break between games.

The Salukis’ schedule at the moment includes open dates on Sept. 12 and 26 — but with the Big 12 calling for nonconference games to be played before league matchups get started, a Sept. 26 KU-SIU meeting wouldn’t fit the Big 12 model.

Given reports of a Sept. 19 or 26 start for Big 12 play, KU’s Sept. 12 trip to Baylor figures to be rescheduled, too. That could potentially allow KU to face SIU on Sept. 12.

Dan Beckler, KU’s associate athletic director for public relations, told the Journal-World the athletics department won’t be commenting further on the team’s schedule at this time.

KU head coach Les Miles in a KU release described the current circumstances as “a difficult time for our football team,” because players and coaches don’t yet know what the schedule will look like or “when we’ll be able to play.”

Miles, though, stated the Jayhawks are “pleased” with the “nine plus-one” format and said KU is fortunate to have Long, “who knows the college football system as well as anyone in the country,” taking part in these decisions.

“As has been the case since the pandemic began, our football team will continue to work through the everchanging environment,” Miles said, “and line up and play football when allowed.”

KU’s nonconference matchups with Boston College and Coastal Carolina seem doubtful. The ACC already had decreased the chances of KU facing Boston College in Lawrence on Sept. 19, once the ACC decided its teams won’t play nonconference games out of state. Plus, with the Big 12 opting to keep its nonconference games at Big 12 venues, KU won’t be playing at Coastal Carolina on Sept. 26.

Earlier this summer, KU had to reschedule its original Sept. 5 opener against New Hampshire when the FCS program opted not to play football this fall. SIU replaced New Hampshire, and KU scheduled the game for Aug. 29 because SIU already had a Sept. 3 meeting with UT Martin on the books.

Comments

Michael Maris 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The QB position will be an interesting position to watch in 2020.

A Senior QB on the roster who really hasn't seen significant D1 playing time. A Junior QB who I would think should get some significant pre-season snaps. A Freshman QB who was specifically recruited by Dearmon. I feel like Miles Kendrick and Jalon Daniels are the 2 Roster QB's who would fit Dearmon's offensive style of play.

As we all well know, time will tell.

Marc Frey 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if they don't play, do they get a free Redshirt year? I would be suprised if football is played. Covid19 has been really hyped up so much, rational.people are now scared.

Ashwin Rao 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I am not sure if I agree with the "hyped-up" comment. Covid19 is dangerous, and people are doing what they need to do to stay safe. But your question is relevant about the handling of the year.

Robert Brock 1 month, 2 weeks ago

UCONN takes the lead. KU should consider doing the same.

Bryce Landon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yes, KU should also cancel its season. It would spare itself the embarrassment of getting its asses kicked 10 times a year.

ON IOWA!

Michael Maris 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Reviewing U-Conn's Football Schedule, they really didn't have much to lose. Since, they've moved the majority of their athletic programs back to the B-East, football will really be irrelevant for U-Conn (in the coming seasons).

Dane Pratt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Given all the racial inequities charged against Iowa football, you might consider cancelling your trolling this season. It would spare you the embarrassment.

Jeff Coffman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I'm getting more and more optimistic about the season occurring. As mentioned before about 8-12% of football players are getting cared for because they had the virus and didn't know they had it. The teams are giving them medical attention.

To date, I still don't know of one case from a university football player which had symptoms. This means that already the program has reduced the spread of the disease because asymptomatic players were identified and treated, and had a quarantine program that looks like it has worked for the majority of the P65 programs.

There is still a month of knowledge to be gathered, but for all intensive purposes the programs are working together to make this happen.

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