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how many NCAA football players are on a team this season

NCAAF Info: How Many College Football Players Are There? And Other Questions

Learn how many NCAA football players are on a team this season. What happens if college football players test positive and if games are canceled on gameday.

It’s been a roller coaster for college football, and its fans. Luckily, after a summer of uncertainty, for NCAA betting purposes, all Power 5 Conferences are finally ready for football. The ACC began in early September and the SEC and Big-12 got back on the field on September 26th. The Big Ten returns October 24th while the PAC-12 starts play on November 6th.

The biggest question bookies offering pph sportsbook software struggled with wasn’t which Power 5 conferences would play during a global pandemic, but how would they test those players? How many college players are required to play? And what’s the plan if they don’t have enough players?

Uncertainty regarding roster rules and scheduling could affect wagers and, ultimately, a bookie’s bottom line. Luckily, as we came into late September, more and more details emerged.

How Many College Football Players Are There on Gameday?

When it comes to ncaa players roster requirements, the SEC and Big-12 took the standard route. Fifty-three scholarship players are required on gameday, including four available interior defensive linemen, seven available offensive linemen, and one quarterback. To ensure they have enough players, both teams for an upcoming game administer three tests per week. 

If a player tests positive, they must sit a minimum of 10 days from the positive test and then an additional four days without any symptoms. If a player tests positive, they’ll miss two weeks – a massive hit in a shortened season.

The ACC has a similar testing schedule to the Big 12 and SEC. However, the Atlantic Coast Conference hasn’t disclosed minimum roster requirements. 

The Big Ten has instituted daily coronavirus testing. But instead of a specific number, the conference requires a 5%-or-under positivity rate for a team’s gameday roster. Under 7.5% of a team’s combined players, coaches, and staff must test positive. The PAC-12 revealed it will have daily testing, though they haven’t disclosed any roster requirements yet.

What this means for pay per head bookies is that since conferences will cancel games if schools do not meet the requirements, agents may have to void bets. The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 have open dates if they must reschedule games. Players will have to wager all over again in the case of any game cancellations. 

As for the Big Ten and PAC-12, if those conferences must cancel games, chances are slim they’ll find make-up dates. There’s simply no room for extra game days as the Big Ten plays nine contests in nine weeks while the Pac-12 plays seven games in seven weeks.

2020 NCAA Football Schedule

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, each Power 5 Conference scheduled their season differently. Check out what the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac 12 decided. 


All 15 ACC schools play 10 conference games with one non-conference game. The non-conference matchup must be an in-state game.

There are no ACC divisions this year while conference games are scheduled on a regional basis. The teams with the best winning percentages versus conference opponents play in the ACC Championship Game. 

Independent Notre Dame plays an ACC conference schedule this season and is eligible to play in the ACC Championship Game. Therefore, bookies should inform bettors they’re offering odds for Notre Dame to win the ACC Championship. 


The SEC kept it simple. Ten games, all within its conference and that’s it. The last game of the season is December 5th. The conference has scheduled the SEC Championship Game for December 19th. That leaves December 12th as a potential date to reschedule canceled games.


The Big-12 is playing nine games within its conference with one non-conference game, and two bye weeks for possible rescheduled games. That said, bookies and bettors should not expect any more non-conference games as those had to happen before September 26th

Big Ten

After first pushing their season out to this spring, the Big Ten reversed its decision. Each team will play nine conference games. Because time is short, all Big Ten teams play on Championship Saturday, December 19th. The East and West divisions’ winners play in the championship while other teams play cross-division opponents in what the conference calls “Big Ten Champions Week.” The historical Michigan-Ohio State game happens on December 12th.


The Pac-12 will be the last participant to the NCAA football party and, therefore, only has a seven-week season. The conference has yet to release an official schedule. 

Most expect a six-game division schedule with a crossover game versus the opposite division. The Pac-12 Championship should take place on December 18th

Will There Be A College Football Playoff? 

The NCAAF hasn’t canceled the College Football Playoff. Check out CFP semifinals and championship dates. 

  • Semifinal (Rose Bowl): January 1st in Pasadena, California.
  • Semifinal (Sugar Bowl): January 1st in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • National Championship: January 11th in Miami, Florida

With the Big Ten and the Pac-12 back in the fold, bookies should see championship odds revert to what they were in June. But because there are no out of conference games among the Power 5 schools, teams have to pass the eye test to playoff voters, which means the AP Top 25 could mean more this season than it has in past seasons. We suggest using sportsbook software to offer odds while maintaining the ability to set limits, take bets off the board, and shift odds during a wild college football season. 

Right now, bookmakers can utilize the Agent Payment Solution (APS®) to make online and mobile payments, collections, and deposits. What are a couple of other reasons to join Pay Per Head? The company has multiple promotions and offers the best referral program in the per head industry.   

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