McMurphy: C-USA Will Allow Schools To Play All Football Games
Although the Big 12 is yet to decide how many football games they will play in 2020, Conference USA reportedly will not hold any of their schools back from a full schedule. Stadium's college football writer and analyst Brett McMurphy tweeted out that C-USA will let each member school make their own call on the football season.
UTEP opens their season at the Sun Bowl against Texas Tech and two weeks later, the Miners travel to Austin to play the University of Texas. They also have a road game on September 12th against Nevada and wrap up their non conference play at home on September 26th with I-10 rival NMSU.
According to a source, UTEP prefers to play a 12-game football schedule this season if possible. The Big 12 is the last of the Power 5 conferences to announce their plans for the college football season. The Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC have all chosen to play only conference games, while the ACC decided to play one non-conference game in addition to their 10 league contests. McMurphy told 600 ESPN El Paso today in an interview on SportsTalk that the Big 12 will likely decide between either a conference-only schedule or a 9+1 format with one non-conference matchup included.
If the Big 12 opts for the 9+1 scheduling model, UTEP could end up playing both Texas Tech and Texas in one scenario. The Longhorns currently have home games against South Florida on September 5th and the Miners two weeks later. The Red Raiders lost a pair of non-conference home games on their schedule and their only other contest is in El Paso on September 5th against UTEP.
There is another rumor going around that the Big 12 might decide on a 9+1 with all member schools hosting a game before they start conference play. In that scenario, Texas Tech would have to schedule another school to play in Lubbock before they start Big 12 play at Iowa State on September 26th. Although their game with UTEP is three weeks before Iowa State, Tech could always offer UTEP a large payout if the Miners travel to Jones AT&T Stadium rather than lose out on the home game with the Red Raiders at the Sun Bowl.
The ACC announced that their non-conference game must be against a team playing in the same state as their member schools. If the Big 12 follows the ACC's example, then UTEP could keep both Texas and Texas Tech on their 2020 schedule. We should know something by early next week once the Big 12 makes up their mind and the NCAA Board of Governors meet Tuesday to decide on the fate of the NCAA-sponsored fall sports championships including the FCS playoffs.