If college football begins on time next season, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kansas State Wildcats will take the field on Sept. 5 with a pair of home games against teams they will be favored to beat.
KU will start against New Hampshire and pay the Wildcats $500,000 for the visit. K-State will begin against Buffalo and pay the Bulls $900,000 for making the trip to Bill Snyder Family Stadium. From there, the Jayhawks will move on to games against Boston College and Coastal Carolina. The Wildcats will play North Dakota and Vanderbilt. Then Big 12 play will begin.
But what happens if some, or all, of those nonconference games get canceled?
As uncertainty remains around the topic of playing college sports during the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible that some leagues will play a conference-only schedule next season. Some have suggested playing just one nonconference game. That would give teams across the country more time to prepare for the return of football and limit travel demands, but it would also create a major headache for schools that long ago contractually agreed to play games this fall.
Will certain teams be on the hook for cancellation penalties? Will much-anticipated games be rescheduled? Will small schools try to collect their guarantee payments, even if no games are played?
A review of upcoming game contracts for both KU and K-State, obtained through a records request, provide some answers.