One of the marquee matchups, scheduled less than a week ago, for Week 3 has been postponed.
No. 24 Baylor and Houston were set for a Saturday afternoon tilt in Waco until the Bears announced Friday they did not reach the Big 12’s COVID-19 game cancellation thresholds. It’s the third time Houston has seen its opener disappear, and the second instance for Baylor.
The two programs saw their original matchups for last weekend called off; Baylor’s against Louisiana Tech had to be canned due to Hurricane Laura, and Houston’s due to a coronavirus outbreak at Memphis. The sides quickly came together to schedule a new opener. The Cougars earlier had a game against canceled by COVID-19-related as well.
“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.”
The thresholds, announced earlier this month, specify that that the minimum number of players required to for a game is 53, with additional minimums of available offensive linemen (seven), interior defensive lineman (four) and quarterback (one).
The postponement is the third game in the last two days to be called off due to coronavirus positive tests or contact tracing. Charlotte and No. 11 North Carolina could not play after the 49ers lost their offensive line due to contact tracing, and Florida Atlantic’s game against Georgia Southern was postponed earlier Friday.
Rhoades said the two programs will keep their home-and-home agreement in place at future dates. At this point, Baylor and Houston playing in 2020 appears unlikely. The Bears currently have open dates on Oct. 10 and Nov. 21, while the Cougars are free on Oct. 3.