Kansas swaps out one FCS foe for another for its opener

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Kansas added Southern Illinois to open its football season in just over a month. The game, however, might not be played.

The revision came after New Hampshire backed out of the game Sept. 5 because of the Colonial Athletic Conference’s decision to suspend fall sports due to COVID-19.

The Jayhawks and Salukis will play for the fourth time on Aug. 29 at Memorial Stadium.

Jayhawks athletic director Jeff Long said Saturday the school wanted to look regionally for an opponent and that whatever school was chosen had to adhere to Big 12 testing protocols once they have been set.

“I am thankful to the University of Kansas administration for working with us to schedule a Week Zero game in Lawrence to open up the 2020 football season,” SIU athletic director Liz Jarnigan said. “After losing the opportunity to play at Wisconsin, I’m thrilled to be able to share the news with our student-athletes and fans that we again have a complete schedule.”

Whether the game actually takes place has yet to be determined. The Salukis play in the Missouri Valley, whose own school presidents are expected to address their football season in the coming week.

Other leagues in the Football Championship Subdivision, such as the Ivy and MEAC, have canceled fall football. And some of the power leagues, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, have decided against playing nonconference games.