The Mid-American Conference may not be the biggest domino to fall today. Not even close to it.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo.com reports that Big Ten school presidents are meeting on Saturday, and that “all options are on the table.” Including cancellation of the fall season.
Thamel reports that it isn’t known whether enough support exists to make that decision today. Still, it feels like that decision inevitably will be made.
The Big Ten recently decided to launch a 10-game, conference-only schedule on September 3. That’s fewer than four weeks from now.
Thamel also notes that the conference has announced that it will not progress to padded practices for now, and that the conference wants “further evaluation” before allowing players to engage in full-contact football.
Wisconsin has canceled practice until Monday, and former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez recently provided a sobering assessment of the situation to Thamel.
“I’m afraid,” Alvarez said. “There’s so many questions that are unanswered. I see things change every day. We have so much invested. I have a grandson playing. I’m invested in every student-athlete on our campus. I want them to be safe. . . . I owe everything I have to college football. I’m the most positive person in the world. My wife said to me today, ‘All of a sudden you are a glass half empty.’ I don’t like to be like that.”
The Big Ten seems to be, by far, the most careful and conscientious of the Power Five conferences when it comes to navigating the pandemic. Recently on PFT Live, Peter King credited that attitude to new Commissioner Kevin Warren, former COO of the Vikings.
None of this means that the ACC or the SEC will abandon their cash cows in the name of the safety, but if the Big Ten shuts down and if the NCAA cancels fall championships, it will be harder and harder for the conferences that try to play to continue to perpetrate the ruse that big-time college football is about anything other than chasing big-time dollars.