NORMAN- The Oklahoma Sooners will open conference play tomorrow.
Amidst reports the Kansas State Wildcats could fall short of the roster threshold to play, the Wildcats will proceed with their trip to play the Sooners.
As reported by SoonerScoop.com, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione confirmed the game would happen.
Oklahoma was close to having their season opener against Missouri State postponed due to the high number of players missing for positive COVID-19 test results and the ensuing contact tracing quarantines.
This week, it was the Wildcats who struggled to make the game happen.
Kansas State coach Chris Klieman confirmed the Wildcats struggled to meet the threshold to play their season opener as well, a 35-31 loss to Arkansas State.
The Big 12 mandates teams to take three COVID-19 tests a week. Players who test positive are immediately quarantined, but the contact tracing seems to be what gives teams fits.
If a player is identified to have come into contact with an individual who tests positive, that player is also placed into a 14-day quarantine.
Lincoln Riley said the availability of rapid testing cannot reduce the time a player will miss for contact tracing.
“Right now with the state, CDC regulations and all of that, if somebody is nailed as a contact trace, whether it’s the nose test, whether it’s the rapid test, any of those it’s 14 days. And that’s final,” Riley said in his weekly press conference after the Missouri State game.
Before the season, the Big 12 outlined specific roster numbers teams will have to meet for games to proceed. Each team must have at least 53 players available, including one quarterback, seven offensive lineman and four interior defensive lineman.
The SEC has since adopted similar roster thresholds.
Oklahoma and Kansas State will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Coverage will start live on 107.7 The Franchise at 6 a.m., and will continue through the game and into post-game coverage.