The Big Ten is the first Power 5 conference to make major adjustments to its fall sports schedules. The conference announced on Thursday that its fall sports teams will only compete against other members of the conference, eliminating all non-conference competition from all fall sports, including football. The move will give the Big Ten complete control and flexibility as we tiptoe around COVID in order to have sports.
From the official press release:
We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority.
To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.
Here in SEC country, the south’s conference will keep things the way they are with a normal schedule, but will continue to keep a close eye on the situation.
If the SEC (or the ACC) were to follow the Big Ten’s direction with conference-only football, it would mean no Governor’s Cup in 2020.
Read the Big Ten’s press release here.