In a move sure to start a domino effect around the college football landscape, the Big Ten announced that they would be moving forward with a conference games only schedule in 2020. This, of course, due to COVID-19 concerns, which have rocked the sports world all year long.
“By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic,” the Big Ten said in a statement.
Michigan-Washington, Ohio State-Oregon and Wisconsin-Notre Dame are just a few of the games that we now will not get to see this fall.
According to Nicole Auerbach, the Pac-12 is expect to follow the Big Ten. There’s been plenty of noise about the ACC, too.
As we saw with the college basketball conference tournaments, once one pulled the plug, everyone else quickly followed. Is that about to happen here? It sure feels like it.
What about the SEC? Here’s the latest we have from Brandon Marcello. He says that the SEC will wait as long as they possibly can before making a decision.
SEC coaches met this morning. Person involved in the call tells @247Sports they had no idea Big Ten decision was coming and that message from SEC admin this morning is SEC will wait as long as they can before making ANY decisions on football season.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) July 9, 2020
If Tennessee’s non-conference games are shelved, that means matchups against Charlotte, Oklahoma, Furman and Troy won’t be happening. It also means a potential new week one matchup against the Florida Gators.
Questions still remain — the main one being whether or not the SEC would expand the schedule if non-conference games are canceled. Would they move to a nine or ten game schedule? Will games be pushed back? Is playing in the fall even feasible? There’s even been some chatter of moving to season back to the spring.
These next couple of weeks are critical and we should see plenty of changes. We should have some clarity soon.