Ole Miss football’s season opener against Baylor will be moved back one day to Sunday, September 6, per Rebel Grove.
The Rebels were originally scheduled to face the Bears one day earlier, on Saturday, September 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, but it has been bumped for unknown reasons.
The decision could be simply for TV ratings, with Sunday being a part of Labor Day weekend and the NFL season opener not coming until the following week. Ole Miss hired Lane Kiffin and Baylor hired Dave Aranda in the offseason. With the hires, a matchup that was a quality season-opening matchup became must-see television.
Aranda, the former LSU coordinator, now has 24 more hours for his demons to terrorize his thoughts and take him back to John Rhys Plumlee’s performance against the Tigers in 2019.
More than likely, ESPN wants more eyes tuning in to an electric matchup and felt it will receive higher ratings as a standalone game on Sunday.
However, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 college football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this rescheduling could come for a variety of Coronavirus-related reasons— all speculation, of course.
First and foremost, the rescheduling comes with the caveat that the season will be played. While many schools have announced their intentions to play as planned, many states remain on lockdown and schools may not hold in-person classes in the fall.
Should the schedules remain as they are, this game could be moved back for a stadium change. While NRG Stadium does have an open-roof option, the decision could have been made to play at an outdoor venue that already has an event set for Saturday.
It also could be moved for sake of fans. NRG Stadium is large, and if, games are played with fans, it might be easier to control capacity and proper physical distancing at a smaller stadium. Or, it may be because of the NFL season and the Texans may not be comfortable having outside teams and staff in their facilities a week before the NFL season begins.
Without any details, it is unclear as to why this decision has been made, but moving Ole Miss’ season opener against Baylor from Saturday, Sept. 5 to Sunday, Sept. 6 is probably just a TV-related decision.
If a non-Ole Miss college football fan was able to flip around between Baylor and Ole Miss and North Dakota State at Oregon (upset alert!!) or the other slate of games, he or she might choose to so. If a non-Ole Miss college football fan was given the choice of watching Lane Kiffin coach in the SEC against a Baylor team coming off of a Sugar Bowl or watching nothing... the eyes of the nation will be tuned into Houston.
Add 24 long, painstaking hours to the countdown, but don’t think too much of it.