Big Ten Opting For League-Only Football Games
Mountain West schools missing out on games.
Air Force and San Jose State are in trouble.
The Big Ten has officially announced that their fall sports will be conference games only if they can even be played. That definitely includes football and the reasoning behind this move is to provide flexibility and guidance within its own league so it can govern itself, as the NCAA does not have that.
“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.”
This is a big deal for two Mountain West schools in Air Force and San Jose State who play a pair of Big Ten teams in Purdue and Penn State. The former would have been an amazing game to watch as the Falcons are projected to be in the discussion for a Mountain West title.
San Jose State would have been granted a learning experience playing a preseason top-10, or higher, Nittany Lions team.
As for what is next for the Falcons and Spartans is up in the air. The ACC is also reportedly looking to go conference-only as well, plus the Pac-12 is probably thinking about that right now.
We could go through the schedule and find replacements for San Jose State and Air Force but that could be an exercise in futility as other leagues are likely to follow suit.
The main reason that the Bit Ten and why other leagues will follow suit shortly is because each league can set their own consistent standards for testing, travel, and so on.
Expect more leagues to follow suit of the Big Ten and cause a lot of headaches for the Mountain West and other Group of Five teams not just in playing the games but the money comes from these buy games. There are clauses in contracts to just cancel games but hopefully, look for situations to be worked out and try to get these games played down the road.