The Big 12 is adjusting its football schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic but there it still appears Missouri State will remain on Oklahoma’s schedule.
The Big 12 will move to a conference-only schedule but it will allow for the schools to play one non-conference home game, the league announced Monday evening.
Oklahoma’s two non-conference games on its schedule entering Monday included a road trip to Army and a home game against Missouri State. OU lost its home game against Tennessee due to the SEC moving to a conference-only schedule and it should now lose its road trip to Army.
That would leave Missouri State — barring some sort of schedule or location change. Neither university has made an announcement.
The Big 12 said its conference schedule will be solidified in the coming weeks with an anticipated start sometime between mid-to-late-September, with the exception that non-conference games are contested prior to the beginning of league games.
Missouri State football players Damoriea Vick and Kevin Ellis along with new head coach Bobby Petrino talk about Bears’ first day of practice.
The Bears and Sooners are scheduled for Aug. 29 but that date could be adjusted again after the two teams previously received a waiver to move the game up a week. The Bears have open dates on Sept. 5 and Sept. 26
Of course, the game is a critical game for Missouri State athletics as far as financials.
The cancelation of such a game would result in a loss of a $600,000 guarantee payment from OU — something MSU has been budgeting for throughout the summer.
Missouri State athletics has been preparing as if it was going to lose the game out of precaution. MSU Athletics Director Kyle Moats said during mid-May’s Board of Governors meeting that the athletics department was budgeting in the event it would lose the payment.
At the time, Moats said the athletics department is already having to budget for a $650,000 shortfall due to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. He also said the university will have to plan for a decrease in other revenue sources including ticket revenue, Bears Fund donations, suite sales, licensing and concessions.
Moats said recently the Missouri Valley Football Conference would make their decision based off of what the Big 12 and the SEC do with their seasons. With those decisions now made, the MVFC could decide to go to follow suit by playing a conference-only schedule or could look to play later in the fall, in the spring or cancel entirely.
It’s unlikely the MVFC will take away Missouri State and other league member’s opportunities to have a big payday from the Big 12. There are other teams in the MVFC scheduled to play Big 12 opponents.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at email@example.com or join the conversation on Twitter where his handle is @WyattWheeler_NL. You can also sign up for his free “Bears Beat” newsletter by subscribing on News-Leader.com.