The backlash against cancelling college football is in full swing. On Monday, the best conference the land, the SEC, announced their ten-game, conference only schedule, following the ACC’s announcement earlier this month.
Could the Big Ten be far behind? Possibly.
Writer Jeff Snook is reporting that Ohio State is taking the lead on a deal that would allow a six-team 2020 schedule. The plan would only work if six schools sign on, and Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, and Iowa are reportedly on board. Wisconsin and Michigan may make the fifth and sixth schools in the plan.
Athletic Director Gene Smith, with the full support of school president-elect Kristina Johnson, has been working behind the scenes for the past six days to organize fellow Big Ten conference athletic directors in convincing at least five other university presidents to move forward with a 10-game season to be played among six teams, a source familiar with the movement told me today.
In this proposed format, each team would play the other five Big Ten teams who are participating twice — once at home and once on the road, beginning on either Sept. 26 or Oct. 3. The season would conclude by mid-December and there would no Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.
The presidents of Penn State, Iowa, and Nebraska are reportedly on board, and the schools now want to convince Wisconsin and Michigan to jump in along with them. Winning those two schools over may be a tall order.
Wisconsin’s Athletic Director and former head football coach Barry Alvarez wants to play, but he hasn’t been able to convince President Drew Peterson. Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and Athletic Director Warde Manual would like to join in too, but President Mark Schlissel continues to dig his heels in, citing player safety concerns.
All of this Big
Ten Six talk comes weeks after the conference’s commissioner Kevin Warren put the kibosh on a football season. Joe Kinsey reports at Outkick that Warren has kept a low profile since the announcement, which is interesting since a cardiologist from the University of Michigan has called the conference out for using what he calls bad data.
Additionally, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has allowed contact sports in his state, which means that high school teams, NFL teams, and the Cincinnati Bearcats will be able to play football this fall.
Multiple Big Ten student athletes have gone on record with their desire to play, and the moves by other conferences make it difficult to view the conference’s decision as wise. If these six teams go forward with their modified schedule and little or nothing happens, they can prove Warren wrong.
Let them play!