The Big Ten is a mess and only has itself to blame 🏈

Big Ten Football

Big Ten Football

What you need to know about Big Ten Football:

The Big Ten Football is a mess and only has itself to blame 🏈

Technically, the 2020 college football season kicked off this past weekend, as Austin Peay took on Central Arkansas in the FCS Kickoff Classic at Cramton Bowl. The Governors got things started in fine fashion, as the first play from scrimmage went for a 75-yard touchdown, but ultimately it was the Bears who won the game, 24-17.
Big Ten Football

Big Ten Football

But, in all likelihood, none of that really means much to you because it’s not the Power Five.

So, what’s the latest with the power brokers of college football? Well, unfortunately, it all seems to be quite a mess — especially in the Big Ten.
  • Seventeen days after announcing that it was postponing the 2020 college football season until Spring 2021, the Big Ten is reportedly considering a possible Thanksgiving start
  • The league is reportedly considering several options for a possible season start, with some earlier start proposals hinging on an “overnight” change surrounding medical conditions, testing and contact tracing
While this latest development can be seen as good news for anyone who wants to see Big Ten football as soon as possible, it also signals a clear lack of unity and leadership within the conference. Our Dennis Dodd went in on that topic over the weekend:
  • Dodd: “The first question: What changed between Aug. 11 and now? Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has been criticized for his lack of transparency in making the no-fall-football announcement on that date. Then, when he did issue “An Open Letter To The Big Ten Community” on Aug. 19, Warren wrote the decision to postpone the fall season “will not be revisited.” That was all but proved false Friday…That is not good when Warren had drawn his line in the sand. That line has at least been blurred, if not erased entirely. Nothing may come of it… or the league may emerge in the next two weeks with a new, detailed plan… Either way, it shows a continued lack of unity within the Big Ten.”
Dodd makes a great point when he says that the league has lost control of the narrative and, to a certain extent, its own credibility. As he puts it, “the fact that the league has wavered, publicly, reflects how the Big Ten’s sterling reputation is slipping.”
Not to mention the fact that starting the season in November doesn’t particularly make a whole lot of sense. It seems as though this would all lead to the Big Ten rushing to start its season when some of the other Power Five conferences are planning to wrap up their own campaigns — and potentially play in a national championship.
The Big Ten has sort of painted itself into a corner here. While you could initially commend the conference for prioritizing player safety, if leadership changes its mind it will be seen as caving to pressure. If it doesn’t, well, it’s already shown a willingness to second-guess itself and publicly showcase a lack of unified response under duress.

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