Updated: Jan 18, 2021
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After the COVID-19 pandemic cut the 2020 college baseball season short, college baseball teams will still feel the effect of the pandemic into 2021. Twelve conferences have reportedly made changes to their 2021 schedules, with many more to follow in the coming weeks.
Of greatest note is the Big Ten's decision to forgo non-conference games. Without non-conference games, it is unclear how teams will be selected for the NCAA Tournament. Kendall Rogers, of D1Baseball.com, is reporting that the Big Ten may revisit their decision early next year.
While some conferences have trimmed conference schedules (e.g. Conference USA and the Sunbelt) as a cost-cutting measure, many other conferences are adding conference games in an effort to ensure a minimum number of games. Four conferences have elected to include a doubleheader in their weekend series, while the MAAC is going a step farther and playing back-to-back doubleheaders over two days.
The Mountain West Conference is the only conference in the western half of the United States to have announced any changes to its 2021 schedule. The state of California is currently the hardest hit state in terms of COVID-19 cases, which may be hindering the decision-making process for the Pac-12, Big West, WAC, and WCC.
For most conferences, the college baseball season is scheduled to start on February 19.