Two months ago, such a situation seemed improbable. Conferences across the country were postponing football until the spring or canceling the season altogether. But now it’s kicking into full gear. And by mid-November, each of the Power 5 conferences will have a product on the field.
And by winter, bowl season will return. As will the college football playoff.
Where do your teams and affiliated conferences stand currently, though? Or when will their season get going? We’ve got you covered in this guide.
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
The ACC became the first Power 5 conference to kick off the football season as Miami defeated UAB 31-14 on Sept. 10.
Two days later, the season was in full swing with no divisions. To boot, Notre Dame, long an independent, joined the conference slate in order to ensure a full season and potentially a bid to the college football playoff.
The ACC championship game will take place Dec. 12 or 19, depending on logistics, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
|North Carolina||2-0 (2-0)|
|Virginia Tech||2-0 (2-0)|
|Notre Dame||2-0 (1-0)|
|North Carolina State||2-1 (2-1)|
|Boston College||2-1 (1-1)|
|Georgia Tech||1-2 (1-1)|
|Florida State||1-2 (0-2)|
|Wake Forest||1-2 (0-2)|
Big 12 Conference
It was a momentous day for football fans Sept. 12: the day Big 12 football returned.
The conference will run its season until the Big 12 championship game Dec. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
|Oklahoma State||3-0 (2-0)|
|Iowa State||2-1 (2-0)|
|Kansas State||2-1 (2-0)|
|West Virginia||1-1 (1-1)|
|Texas Tech||1-2 (0-2)|
Big Ten Conference
League presidents and chancellors in August voted 11-3 to postpone the football season after consulting with the likes of members from the Infectious Diseases Task Force and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.
Not long after, the conference reversed course. Citing daily testing capabilities and stronger confidence in updated medical information, league presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to bring football back.
As a result, the Big Ten expects to kick off its season the weekend of Oct. 24, with each team attempting to play eight games in eight weeks, followed by the conference championship game Dec. 19. Such scheduling allows the Big Ten to complete its season before the Dec. 20 Selection Day for the college football playoff.
The last of the Power 5 conferences to greenlight fall football, the Pac-12 announced in late September that a seven-game season will get going Nov. 6.
This decision came just over a month after the conference postponed all fall sports until at least Jan. 1, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even in a shortened season, the Pac-12 made sure to include noteworthy rivalry matchups, including the Big Game (Stanford at Cal), the Apple Cup (Washington at Washington State) and Oregon at Oregon State (formerly known as the Civil War).
Each team will play the five opponents in its division and one divisional crossover opponent. The conference championship is scheduled for Dec. 18, two days before college football playoff selection day.
Of the Power 5 conferences, the Pac-12 will have the fewest scheduled games.
No fans will be allowed at Pac-12 games.
It probably would not have been much of a college football season without the SEC.
Fortunately for us, the conference kicked off its season Sept. 26.
Following a 10-game, conference-only season, the SEC championship game will take place Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The schedule includes one midseason open date and another open date Dec. 12 for each school.
|Florida 2-0 (2-0)||Alabama 2-0 (2-0)|
|Georgia 2-0 (2-0)||Arkansas 1-1 (1-1)|
|Tennessee 2-0 (2-0)||Mississippi State 1-1 (1-1)|
|Kentucky 0-2 (0-2)||Auburn 1-1 (1-1)|
|Missouri 0-2 (0-2)||LSU 1-1 (1-1)|
|South Carolina 0-2 (0-2)||Ole Miss 1-1 (1-1)|
|Vanderbilt 0-2 (0-2)||Texas A&M 1-1 (1-1)|
American Athletic Conference
The first games of the AAC season came Sept. 5, as conference members SMU and Memphis took down Texas State and Arkansas State, respectively.
After eight conference games per team, the AAC championship will take place on one of three dates: Dec. 5, Dec. 12 or Dec. 19. The conference will decide on the date no earlier than Nov. 1.
|South Florida||1-2 (0-1)|
|East Carolina||0-1 (0-1)|
In the conference that kicked off the football season, UAB (defeated Central Arkansas) and Southern Miss (lost to South Alabama) were at the forefront of the sport’s return.
The C-USA championship game is scheduled for Dec. 5 and will occur after each team attempts to play eight conference and four nonconference games.
|FAU 1-0 (1-0)||UAB 3-1 (1-0)|
|Western Kentucky 1-2 (1-0)||Louisiana Tech 2-2 (1-0)|
|Marshall 2-0 (0-0)||UTSA 3-1 (1-1)|
|Old Dominion 0-0 (0-0)||Southern Mississippi 1-3 (1-1)|
|FIU 0-1 (0-0)||UTEP 3-1 (0-0)|
|Charlotte 0-2 (0-1)||Rice 0-0 (0-0)|
|Middle Tennessee 0-4 (0-2)||North Texas 1-2 (0-1)|
The Mid-American Conference will bring back MACtion in November, as all 12 teams in the conference expect to open the season Nov. 4.
The MAC became the first FBS conference to postpone the fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic, pulling the trigger Aug. 8. By late September, that outlook changed, and higher-ups began reconsidering a fall schedule.
The season will consist of six regular-season games and conclude with the MAC championship Dec. 18 in Detroit. Fans will not be allowed at games.
Mountain West Conference
Similar to the Big Ten, the Mountain West will get its season going the weekend of Oct. 24.
The conference previously postponed the season Aug. 10 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The likes of Boise State, Air Force and San Diego State will endure shortened seasons. Boise State will play seven conference games plus a home game against independent BYU; Air Force, which beat Navy at home Oct. 3, will play six conference games as well as a nonconference game against Army; and San Diego State faces an eight-game schedule that includes a nonconference matchup against BYU.
There will not be separate divisions in the Mountain West, meaning the top two teams with the best conference winning percentages will face off for the Mountain West title Dec. 19, the day before the college football playoff selections.
Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt contributed to college football’s return, as member South Alabama pulled off an upset of Southern Mississippi on Sept. 3.
The conference originally scheduled the championship for Dec. 5, though the league office has since pushed the game to Dec. 19. Several Sun Belt contests have been postponed, and rescheduling the championship allows for the potential to make up those lost games.
|Coastal Carolina 3-0 (1-0)||Louisiana 3-0 (2-0)|
|Georgia Southern 2-1 (1-1)||Texas State 1-3 (1-0)|
|Appalachian State 2-1 (0-0)||South Alabama 1-2 (0-0)|
|Troy 1-1 (0-0)||Arkansas State 1-2 (0-1)|
|Georgia State 1-1 (0-1)||Louisiana-Monroe 0-4 (0-2)|
Three of the six independent football programs are deep into their seasons already.
Setting the pace, BYU has gone 3-0 so far, outscoring opponents 148-24. The Cougars’ second scheduled game of the season, at Army, was postponed after “a small number” of people within BYU’s program tested positive for COVID-19.
Army, meanwhile, has fared well itself since getting things going Sept. 5. The Black Knights have gone 3-1, with their lone loss to ranked Cincinnati.
Last but not least, Liberty maintains a flawless 3-0 record.