The Big Ten has decided to give football the old college try. This morning the conference announced that they had unanimously voted to play college football this fall thanks to new health information about the pandemic which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans in the last six months. Thanks to advances in rapid testing that appear to be unavailable to millions of children and teachers across the nation, there will be major college football in some Midwestern swing states.
At least there could be. In the safe for television edited words of Winston Wolf, let's not spike the football until we're in the end zone. The proposed Big Ten season isn't for another month and all 14 schools have some incredible hurdles to clear for a game to take place.
Considering what we've been told about some college programs, those stipulations are going to cancel some games and there are no bye weeks to work with. So if a team with College Football Playoff aspirations like Ohio State and all their opponents haven't developed a herd mentality by now there are going to have a tough time playing a "full" schedule.
Then there's the fact that the Big Ten sounds like they're doing a scientific study on COVID-19's long-term affects on the heart. This is what parents were protesting and suing for?
A month is a long time and three months is an eternity during this public health crisis. As people were happy to point out, the Big Ten could have waited until the last minute to cancel games or the season. They are now back in that position. They already canceled the season once this year.
Let's not even consider the fact that they want consolation games for every single team in both conferences the week before Christmas.
And this is just the Big Ten. The Pac-12 remains without football because those teams all play in poorly run blue states. As for the rest of the conferences, only 13 of the ranked teams have even played a game so far. The SEC hasn't played a single game yet. There is still plenty of time for things to go sideways.
Maybe it won't. Who knows. Maybe colleges will get COVID under control. Or maybe B1G schools will start sending kids home and the teams can "bubble" safely, away from their fellow students. A lot has to go right for the Big Ten or any conference or school to successfully navigate a pandemic to get a full season in. Maybe wait until it's over to celebrate.