Within the past week, several conferences, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, have opted to alter their collegiate schedules. The coronavirus pandemic remains a fluid situation, so it’s no surprise that the season won’t be played as originally scheduled.
On Friday, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren announced that the Big Ten would play a conference-only schedule in 2020. By doing so, this will grant the conference some much-needed flexibility in scheduling should an outbreak occur. As is the case now, the league could potentially suspend play for several weeks. Should they do so, they’ll still hit the same target for the season finale.
As a result of the Big Ten schedule change, we’ll miss several potentially entertaining matchups. These included Ohio State at Oregon and Wisconsin Vs Notre Dame at Lambeau Field. An in-state rivalry game between Iowa State and Iowa is also cancelled.
Other Conferences To Follow Suit
In addition to the Big Ten transitioning to conference-only play, the Pac-12 announced that they would do the same. However, I’m not sure that their decision was solely about flexibility. Rather, several schools within the conference lie in COVID-19 hotspots, such as Southern California and Arizona. Nonetheless, the Pac-12 could opt to delay the start of their season. While this could reduce the flexibility to play all games given a potential outbreak, it grants them one thing that they desperately need — time.
The SEC, ACC, and Big-12 make up the rest of the Power Five. Their decisions on play are expected by the end of the month. Given that virus hotspots include Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas, I’m expecting conference-only schedules from them, too.
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