Decision looms on Big Ten season
Closure is coming on a question that has nagged the Big Ten for over a month: Will there be a season this fall?
Yahoo! Sports reports that a decision is pending, as the Big Ten’s medical committee made a presentation to the conference's steering committee of eight presidents and chancellors on Saturday. That was the first of what's a two-step process toward a vote.
The second step was having the Big Ten steering committee present the league’s plan to return to play to the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COPC) on Sunday. And that has happened, per a report from Yahoo! Sports.
Next: A vote on whether to play this fall or continue with a postponement. The vote will take place within the next 72 hours, according to Yahoo! Sports.
If the Big Ten votes to play this fall, reports indicate the league may opt for an Oct. 17 start and play an eight-game season over a nine-week period. The season would conclude with a Big Ten title game on Dec. 19. The October start would allow the Big Ten to take part in the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten also has considered starting in late November and early January.
An October start may be wishful thinking for a conference that currently has two programs--Wisconsin and Maryland--paused to deal with virus outbreaks.
An Oct. 17 start would give Big Ten teams five weeks to get prepared for the first game. Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez told Yahoo! Sports on Saturday that the Badgers would need just three weeks to get ready despite the program currently being paused until Sept. 24 because of the virus.
“(Coach Paul Chryst) and I are on the same page on this,” Alvarez told Yahoo! Sports. “We can have our guys ready. We could have a team ready in three weeks. We feel comfortable with that.”
Since the postponement was announced, Big Ten teams have been limited to 12 hours of practice each week with no contact. Five of those hours could be spent on the field.
The Big Ten announced its postponement on Aug. 11, with the vote among league presidents reported to be 11-3, with Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio State being in favor of playing. To get a reversal on the decision, the Big Ten would need nine votes in favor of playing.
The move toward perhaps playing is fueled by advancements in rapid testing that would be a game-changer in terms of controlling the virus. And concerns about myocarditis also would have to be quelled.
While the Big Ten voted to postpone--along with the Pac-12--the other three Power Five conferences have played on: SEC, ACC and Big 12. The ACC and Big 12 opened their season over the weekend, while the SEC will kickoff on Sept. 26.
Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2020. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited.