The 2021-22 NCAA college football season is close to kicking off, teams going through fall camps right now to prepare for the upcoming season. It almost feels like a normal season, but with the Big 12’s announcement today, we’re reminded things still aren’t quite normal.
Unlike last season, there will not be make-up games or extensive postponements resulting in no-contests. If a Big 12 conference game is unable to be played due to COVID-19 or any other reason this season, the team with the insufficient number of student-athletes will forfeit the contest and be credited with the loss. The opposing team will be credited with a win.
🚨 Game Threshold Policy Announcement 🚨
"In the event a Conference game is canceled due to a team not having enough student-athletes to compete (for any reason) that team will forfeit and will be credited with a loss in the Conference standings."
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) August 17, 2021
In the event of a forfeit, the team that is forced to forfeit will be credited with a loss and the contest will be counted toward both team’s final records. If neither team is able to compete due to COVID-19, the game will be declared no contest. If the need for a tie-breaker arises, an “unbalanced tie-breaker” will be used to determine conference championship participants as needed.
The Pac-12 has adopted a similar policy regarding their conference games this season while the SEC has not yet announced policies yet but will likely hold a similar stance. All conferences will likely adopt a similar stance for the upcoming season.
In the 2020 season, West Virginia was unable to play their scheduled game against Oklahoma with postponements giving way to the Mountaineers being unable to play the contest. In 2021, WVU would have been credited with a loss after being forced to forfeit.
The new policies in place across college football have the potential to severely alter the landscape if COVID-19 outbreaks are as prevalent as last season.