Will there be college football this fall? A conference-by-conference breakdown

Franklin exhausting all options for Penn State's football season (1:33)

Penn State head coach James Franklin tells Mike Greenberg he is exploring all options regarding the team's season, including using Big Ten domed stadiums for "Big Ten weekends." (1:33)

After a chaotic Monday that saw prominent players and coaches from across the college football world try to save a fall season, the first big domino has fallen as the Big Ten has postponed its fall season with an eye toward playing in the spring. The Pac-12 soon followed with the same decision. What does that mean for other conferences, like the SEC, which have been more adamant about taking a more patient approach?

Here's a conference-by-conference look at where things stand as of now:

Big Ten

Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted on Tuesday to postpone its football and other fall sports season, with the hopes of playing in the spring, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The league is expected to make a formal announcement once it notifies its players and coaches.

On Sunday, ESPN first reported that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, were ready to cancel the fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge whether commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences -- the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC -- would fall in line with them.

Pac-12 presidents and chancellors were meeting on Tuesday and also were expected to vote on whether to proceed with a fall schedule or punt to the spring.

Officials with the ACC and SEC have indicated they plan to proceed with seasons this fall, but it's unclear whether the Big Ten's decision will change those plans. -- Mark Schlabach


The Pac-12 CEO group voted Tuesday to cancel fall sports and will look at options to play in the spring, sources told ESPN.

The conference has a webinar scheduled for 4:30 p.m., ET, to discuss the decision that will include conference commissioner Larry Scott, CEO group chair and Oregon president Michael Schill, Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson and Oregon State senior associate athletic director for sports medicine Dr. Doug Aukerman.

Last month, in the wake of the same decision from the Big Ten, it would proceed with a conference-only football schedule to begin September 26. The Pac-12's decision to cancel the fall schedule Tuesday, again, follows the same decision from the Big Ten, which announced its decision to cancel fall sports about an hour into the Pac-12's CEO group meeting.

The CEO group is made up of a chancellor or president from each of the conference's 12 universities and is the ultimate decision-maker for the Pac-12. -- Kyle Bonagura


The SEC is digging its heels in, at least for now, and that's despite what the Big Ten, Pac-12 or anybody else decides about the 2020 college football season.

For months, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has said the league will use all of the time it can to make any decisions about the fall and gather as much information as possible from medical officials. Sankey was sounding a similar theme Monday amid all the reports of different conferences shutting it down this fall.

Sankey tweeted: "Best advice I've received since COVID-19: 'Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you'll gain better information each day.' @SEC has been deliberate at each step since March. ... delayed first game to respect start of fall semester."

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN on Monday that the return of other students to campus would pose a challenge.

"I get that, but we really don't know what that entails until it happens," Saban said. "It's a big reason we pushed the season back [in the SEC], to assess that, which is the prudent way to do it."

The SEC pushed back the start of its season until Sept. 26. Several SEC athletic directors told ESPN that the league is committed to staying the course and hopeful that at least one other Power 5 conference will do the same. Ultimately, the greatest challenge to playing this fall will be presidents and chancellors standing firm in the face of liability.

Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman met with the Vols team on Monday and tweeted that she received a "resounding YES" when she asked the players whether they wanted to play this season.

"This group of student-athletes have worked hard to prepare for the season amidst details and strict healthy and safety protocols. I can't wait to see them on the field in Neyland Stadium," Plowman tweeted. -- Chris Low


Even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponing football, but the talk out of the ACC suggests any movement toward cancellation will come independently of other leagues.

ACC athletic directors met Monday morning and did not alter their current plan for the fall season. Practices continued across the league, including at Syracuse, which had skipped two days of workouts last week amid player safety concerns, and at Clemson, where Lawrence and Darien Rencher helped spearhead a push from players throughout the country calling for the season to be played.

"I'm glad our conference is fighting for us," Lawrence said. "If we see progress, let's continue to play. If it gets bad, we'll course correct, but right now it's been good, and they owe it to the players to fight for us."

It won't be the ADs who have the final say, however. The league's presidents and chancellors are expected to meet Wednesday to discuss options, and they could be influenced by what happens with the Big Ten and Pac-12. One ACC coach said things are changing hour by hour.

Still, coaches are progressing as if the league will stick to its current plan, which would have the season open on Sept. 10. Louisville's Scott Satterfield said in a Monday Zoom conference that the ACC would make its own decisions and lambasted other leagues for "doing this yo-yo."

"We're planning to follow that plan until we're told otherwise," another coach said. "The next hurdle is when all the other students return." -- David M. Hale

Big 12

The Big 12 will continue moving forward, intent on playing fall football, multiple sources told ESPN on Tuesday, confirming a Yahoo Sports report.

The conference's board of directors met for more than an hour Tuesday to discuss the future of the season in the midst of the Big Ten and Pac-12 decisions to postpone fall sports until 2021.

Much attention was on the Big 12 meeting after the ACC and SEC publicly affirmed their intention to continue moving forward.

A revised Big 12 schedule is expected to be released soon, sources told ESPN.

The news comes on the heels of the league reportedly being split on the decision whether to play. Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said earlier Tuesday that if the league voted, he expected it to be "really, really close." -- Sam Khan Jr.