I know it would be a pipe dream for multiple conferences to actually work together.....but I don't really get how playing a conference only schedule is so much safer in their eyes.

Many of the these conferences have teams from 8, 9, 10+ states.

They would be better served limiting play to 1-3 states max.

It's not worth the risk to play out of conference cupcake A, but playing teams from all these other states no worries.

It will be a miracle if the NCAA makes it through half their season schedule.