At long last the Big Ten announced that the 2020 football season will in fact be played. Rumors of the Big Ten presidents and chancellors voting on whether or not to in fact have a football season were rumored to be happening for what feels like weeks.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020: https://t.co/b5yHShGb1D
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 16, 2020
But finally this morning the Big Ten made it official. This coming off of yesterday’s most recent hot mic drop of 2020 where University of Nebraska President, Ted Carter said they were planning on making that announcement last night.
Nebraska President Ted Carter says this morning, not knowing he's on a hot mic, before a news conference: "We're getting ready to announce the Huskers and Big Ten football tonight” via @KETZ
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 15, 2020
So after refreshing twitter a million times last night just to be bombarded with takes about Kemba Walker and the Clippers. It was a pleasant surprise to wake up this morning to this news.
This vote, unlike the one to cancel the season, was unanimous.
Huh weird, how about that.
And the season is set to begin October 23-24 and run through to December 19th.
This feels like the Avengers scene where everyone comes back to fight Thanos. When all hope for a season seemed lost, we just heard “On your left.”
So let’s quickly break down what will be going on in this Big Ten season as well as give some credit where credit is due along the way.
For 2020 and who knows, maybe beyond this will be the big issue for many in terms of playing college football.
But the Big Ten stepped up their testing procedures. When the season was canceled they the plan was two tests per week. Now there will be daily antigen testing for anyone who shares the practice and game field.
Teams will share their testing data with the Big Ten and there will be a scale by positivity rates on whether that team can keep practicing and playing.
The Big Ten will begin their season on the weekend of October 23-24 and will run through December 19. It had been stated that October 17th was the deadline to start playing and still be considered for the college football playoff but I guess this will apparently work.
The formal schedule will officially come out later this week but as of right now it will be a nine game schedule for every team. They will play eight games with scheduled opponents and then everyone plays on December 19th. Except it will be an East vs. West crossover game where teams play their counterpart from the other division. 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 and so on and so forth. There will be no bye weeks.
Let me just say I love the end of the year crossover idea. It acts as your conference title game yes, but it also gives the other teams a chance to finish off their season on a high note and teams have no clue who they will be playing it’s exciting stuff.
A season running from the 24th day of Freeforms’ “31 Nights of Halloween” to their 19th day of “25 Days of Christmas” will include some real bad weather games. Usually the Big Ten season ends on Thanksgiving weekend and still features plenty of bad weather, and this year they are flying past that date. The Big Ten schedule runs from “Scooby Doo: Spooky Island” to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Other Fall Sports
For those wondering, well what about the other fall sports? Mainly volleyball. For many of you that don’t know, volleyball is a wildly popular sport out in the heartland, and the Big Ten dominates the sport.
Well you will more than likely have to wait until spring.
For those asking about #Huskers, #B1G volleyball, I asked Bill Moos in late August about the fall sports that have been moved and if their schedules would be reconsidered. This was his response at the time: "Everything's in the spring except football."
Could that change? Sure.
— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) September 16, 2020
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says ADs and league leadership will meet Thursday to discuss next steps for other fall sports.
— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) September 16, 2020
But you never know, perhaps the Big Ten changes course on these as well. We will have to keep our twitter eyes peeled for any sort of announcement.
The Pac-12 attached themselves to the hip of the Big Ten when the conference decided to leap off the proverbial cliff that was canceling the season. What the Pac-12 didn’t know however was that the Big Ten apparently had a metaphorical jet pack that they used to reverse their decision. So now the Pac-12 is the only power five conference not planning to play this fall.
At first when the Pac-12 canceled, no one seemingly cared. But the west coast culture, and their experience with the pandemic deemed it as necessary to cancel the season. And if the Big Ten did it, that’s good enough a reason for us.
But with the Big Ten reversing course and NFL teams playing on the west coast, the narrative has flipped.
Please spread the word and retweet. I don’t care if you have zero allegiance to the Pac 12. These kids deserve a chance to play. Please Retweet! https://t.co/eFNhr0BdBz
— Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) September 15, 2020
But while the narrative has changed, Pac-12 commissioner, Larry Scott’s stance hasn’t.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott statement: pic.twitter.com/veX3nGEODW
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) September 16, 2020
I know for some it probably seems easy to simply reverse this decision. But California and Oregon lawmakers and officials have a lot more on their plate right now than clearing college football teams to play. Baseball games were just postponed due to the air quality from the wild fires raging across these states. A pandemic is in fact still happening in these densely populated areas.
College football is near the bottom of the pecking order of “things we need to worry about right now” for these people.
I’m sorry Pac-12 but I think you’re still stuck sitting out this year.
Who Deserves Credit
There are plenty of people who deserve credit for this overturn of a decision but the first one that needs to be recognized is the University of Nebraska. They were the first one’s to openly push back against the Big Ten’s decision to cancel the season. And despite the talking heads like Mike Wilbon and Desmond Howard publicly saying for the Big Ten to kick Nebraska to the curb, they kept fighting.
Nebraska was a national punching bag for a few weeks. Have they won many games recently? Nope. Did canceling the season dash their national title chances this year? They never had any. But they stuck to it.
Parents protested at the Big Ten headquarters in Chicago, even the states Attorney General was going to look into the legality of the Big Ten’s decision.
But Nebraska kept fighting and deserves all the credit in the world for getting this turned around. And everyone that made fun of them or told them to shut up and go back to their corn. If you watch even a moment of Big Ten football this year, you owe them an apology.
— Verbally Committed Podcast (@PodVerbalCommit) September 16, 2020
Bill Moos: "Nebraska needs football. … And football needs Nebraska." #Huskers
— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) September 16, 2020
I know I have said a lot about him the last few weeks, not much of it being good things. But Kevin Warren deserves a lot of credit here. The commissioner of the Big Ten made the hasty decision back in August to cancel the season.
And with it, not much communication came from that decision. Schools and fans were left frustrated as their very reasonable and well thought out questions were left with nothing but well phrased word fodder.
And with all the push back, a new conference commissioner like Warren, may have felt like he needed to dig in his heels even harder on his stance.
But he didn’t. Instead he listened, he tried to understand what these schools were saying to him. He saw how other conferences have been able to safely play football and he worked to make that possible with the Big Ten.
That to me is the sign of a good leader. Many of us expected him to bury his head in the sand and just stick with “my decision is final,” but he didn’t. He deserves credit for that.
President Trump perhaps deserves some credit as well here? I mean he did basically call Warren and try and work with him to get a season off the ground. Though I’m not sure how much of that was President Trump really caring about the Big Ten or if it was just a campaign play for states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio for his upcoming election.
Kevin Warren calls his call with President Trump "productive and interesting." He didn't say much more than that.
"Good conversation, very respectful conversation."
— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) September 16, 2020
Perhaps the most unexpected credit of this entire saga belongs to a person without a blue checkmark next to their name, Sir Yacht has somehow been all over this story.
He does not work for any publication yet he had some source within the Big Ten that was feeding him every little detail about the turnaround of this decision. When it came to breaking Big Ten news somehow this guy was the guy to break it. We owe him a tip of the cap.
So much for all those haters saying @SirYacht was making up his Big Ten takes.
He was the one unconventional source that leaked info & gave hope to fans. His info wasn’t always correct, but chalk that up to inexperience in reporting & fluid changes to B1G.
Nice work, kid! 👏
— John Sabol (@John_Sabol) September 16, 2020
Credit also needs to go out to players, parents and other coaches. I know Ryan Day kept fighting the good fight, and having a powerhouse like Ohio State applying pressure to the conference certainly helped swing the tide.
B1G coaches could have simply accepted the decision.
B1G players could have simply accepted the decision.
B1G parents could have simply accepted the decision.
B1G Football in 2020 is 💯 a movement.
Power of the people, y’all.
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) September 16, 2020
Though apparently there are people taking WAAAAAAY too much credit.
I’ve spent the past 188 days fighting to save Big 10 football. Today, we accomplished the mission.
Much like the Osama Bin Laden raid or D-Day, you never know when your number will be called to serve. All you hope for is to execute your job and the mission.
We did just that.
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) September 16, 2020
I mean, there is tooting your own horn and patting yourself on the back. But this?
B1G Time Back Baby
Today is a day worth celebrating. 2020 has been a miserable year for plenty of people. The Big Ten cancelling their football season seemed like it was only going to get darker. But with college football coming back last weekend, the NFL coming back and now the Big Ten reversing their decision. I don’t want to jinx it, but it sure does feel like we can now actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s going to be a wild nine weeks on non-stop college football action in October through December. So plan your pumpkin patch, apple picking or cider mill days with your significant other accordingly. Because we’re back baby.
Grey skies, pound the rock, full hearts, can’t lose.
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