The hastily-arranged Houston vs. Baylor matchup isn’t going to happen after all.
Baylor said Friday that the game couldn’t be played because it wouldn’t have enough players at a certain position group due to COVID-19 testing, tracing and quarantines to meet the Big 12’s roster criteria.
"The loss of this game is a devastating blow, but in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, we believe we made the necessary decision," Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. "We are incredibly disappointed with the continued delay to the start of our season, and empathize with our student-athletes, fans, coaches, and administrative staff. We are grateful for the support and understanding of the University of Houston, Athletic director Chris Pezman, and Chancellor Khator. We look forward to a future home and home match-up."
The Big 12 had previously announced roster minimums for schools to meet for games to be played. Those roster rules require certain numbers of players at specific positions like offensive line, quarterback and defensive line.
“The minimum number of players required to play a game has been set at 53,” the conference said earlier this month. “The number is based on the entire roster, including all scholarship and walk-on players.
“Additional minimum thresholds of available players were also established for offensive linemen (7), interior defensive linemen (4) and quarterback (1). Teams falling below any of these benchmarks, based on game week test results, could still elect to play as scheduled if so desired. Otherwise, upon approval by the Commissioner, the game would be declared a no-contest if it cannot be moved to a later date.”
The game is the seventh of the Week 3 schedule to be postponed, including Houston’s originally-scheduled game against Memphis. The Houston-Baylor game was arranged six days ago after the Memphis game had been postponed.
This is also Baylor’s second postponement of the season. The Bears were going to play Louisiana Tech in Week 2 but that game was canceled because of coronavirus cases at Tech.
Earlier Friday, Georgia Southern and Florida Atlantic announced they wouldn’t be able to play. Per Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, a coronavirus outbreak at FAU was the cause of that postponement.
Without Baylor and Houston, there are just 19 games left on the schedule for Saturday and Fox is left without a college football game to broadcast. The game was set to be one of the best of the weekend as the SEC doesn’t start until Sept. 26 and the Big Ten waits to start until October.
The spate of postponements is also further evidence that it could be a rocky 2020 for college football. While teams and conferences are implementing strict social distancing and testing protocols, there could be more weeks like Week 3 on the horizon later this season.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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