KU football not likely to face Southern Illinois on Aug. 29, says Salukis' AD

Overall view during the game against Indiana State Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Overall view during the game against Indiana State Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Kansas football team might still open up its abbreviated 2020 schedule against Southern Illinois, but it’s not likely to be on Aug. 29 as scheduled.

SIU Athletics Director Liz Jarnigan revealed as much Friday night while reacting to the news that the Salukis’ Missouri Valley Football Conference decided to postpone its eight-game FCS schedule until the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MVFC teams will still be allowed to play up to three nonconference games this fall.

A Week 0 meeting between the Jayhawks and SIU already seemed unlikely, once the Big 12 decided a few days earlier to play a 10-game season, with conference action starting in mid- to late-September.

Now there could be more wiggle room for rescheduling. SIU agreed with UT Martin to move their Sept. 3 matchup to an open date in 2025.

The only other team SIU currently is scheduled to face this fall is Southeast Missouri State, on Sept. 19.

It’s possible SIU and KU could play their opener a week or two later than originally planned, with neither team having any conflicts on Sept. 5 or 12 (assuming the Big 12 will also move back KU’s trip to Baylor that has been on the books for Sept. 12).

The Big 12 hasn’t yet announced what its revamped conference schedule will look like.

The Salukis, like the Jayhawks, began preseason practices on July 31 in anticipation of the Aug. 29 opener.

SIU head coach Nick Hill said in the program’s Friday night release that his team would take several days off “to digest how the league decision will affect our student-athletes and make sure we listen to their concerns.”

KU head coach Les Miles hasn’t been made available for interviews so far this preseason.