The American Athletic Conference has announced its scheduling model for the 2020 fall sports season, including football.
We have announced the conference's plan and timeline for the start of athletics competition for the Fall 2020 season.https://t.co/59CTngWr9P— The American (@American_Conf) August 5, 2020
According to the release, all teams will play the standard eight conference games (four home and four away), and will be allowed to play up to the full complement of four non-conference games, if they can find them. The season will also start on time.
Ross Dellenger of SI reported it first:
NEWS: As many expected, the AAC has approved a 2020 scheduling model of 8 conference games and as many as 4 non-conference games, a source tells @SINow.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 5, 2020
Announcement expected later today.
The league will do away with its divisional format this year with the departure of UConn, so the top two teams will play in The American Football Championship Game.
According to the release:
“Depending on the need to potentially reschedule regular-season games, The American Football Championship will be played on either Dec. 5, 12 or 19 at the stadium of the regular-season champion. A decision regarding the date of the championship game will be made no earlier than Nov. 1.”
What this means for UCF Football
UCF currently has ten games definitely still on the slate for 2020 - five home and four away.
As far as we know, all eight conference games are still on as scheduled.
- Thursday, September 24 at ECU
- Saturday, October 3 vs. Tulsa
- Friday, October 16 at Memphis
- Saturday, October 24 vs. Tulane
Saturday, October 31 at Houston
- Saturday, November 14 vs. Temple
- Saturday, November 21 vs. Cincinnati
- Friday, November 27 at South Florida
No changes to those dates have yet been announced.
Only one non-conference game is absolutely 100% still on the slate.
- Saturday September 12 vs. FIU
Conference USA hasn’t made any adjustments to its slate, so FIU, at least for now, is still on.
That game will also serve as the UCF Knights’ home opener, as the ACC’s scheduling model will prevent North Carolina from traveling to UCF for what would have been the opener on September 4.
- The Friday, September 4 home game vs. North Carolina, for all intents and purposes, is gone.
The ACC also announced its teams would not start playing games until at least September 7, so that game is doubly dead.
UPDATE: Danny White refused to say in his address to the media on Wednesday that the UNC game was dead, but that’s probably because no official announcement has been made yet by either side, and it’s probable that negotiations may be afoot to reschedule or otherwise make both sides whole.
- The Friday, September 18 game at Georgia Tech could still technically happen, since the ACC is allowing its teams to play one non-conference home game within the institution’s home state. However, that game is looking very unlikely to happen. Georgia Tech has already deleted UCF from its schedule on its website, so we can firmly place this game into the all-but-dead category.
UPDATE: White said Wednesday that he is optimistic Georgia Tech can still happen, so we’ll have to just wait and see.
- We thought UCF’s non-conference game against Florida A&M on Saturday, November 7 was wiped when the MEAC suspended all of its fall sports on July 16:
UPDATE: However, Florida A&M is trying to compete this season as an independent in FCS, thus freeing it from the MEAC’s mandate, and White said as of right now, the game is still on, although the Rattlers do not appear on UCF’s schedule on their website.
No word yet on how many fans, if any, will be permitted to attend games this season.
So UCF could potentially schedule another game or two, either with someone from the ACC or perhaps (and more likely) another non-A5 conference, and White said on Wednesday that he would like to fill out a full 12-game slate with ideally seven home games.
UCF has scheduled games at least this late as recently as 2017, when a hurricane wiped UCF’s games with Georgia Tech and Maine, and the Knights scrambled to get Austin Peay on the slate. That game saw UCF score a school-record 73 points en route to an undefeated season.
This story has been updated.