By Adam Roberts – 10/23/2020
We’re approximately eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and over the course of those eight months, sports leagues have quickly learned to adapt to the situation. We saw the NBA install the bubble in Orlando, Major League Baseball is playing the World Series in a pseudo-bubble in Texas this year, and the NFL has had to make alterations to its schedule. In the world of college football, several conferences originally laid out plans to hold off on football games until next spring, though most have since rescinded on those plans and are currently in season. The B1G and Pac-12 have been late to the party, though both conferences open play this weekend. But, there won’t be much wiggle room for the likes of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the rest of the B1G.
The conference has announced they will rule any games cancelled due to COVID-19 as ‘no contest.’ The B1G continues to do extensive testing within programs and if they deem it unsafe to play, teams will not make those games up. The B1G is carrying out an eight-game schedule over eight weeks so it would not allow time for makeup games. In order to compete in the Big Ten Championship, however, teams must play at least six games.
It’s understandable that both the B1G and Pac-12 have started later than their national counterparts due to the pandemic, but this seems doomed to fail. We’ve seen at the pro level that almost every team has had to deal with the virus in some way, and when rules aren’t strictly enforced and followed, outbreaks happen like in Tennessee. It stands to reason there will be at LEAST one ‘no contest’ in the B1G this year, and if it ends up impacting the College Football Playoff, the outcry would be insane.
Currently the B1G has five schools in the AP Top 25.
Coverage from Camp Randall tonight for Wisconsin-Illinois begins at 5pm on ESPN La Crosse 105.5, espnlacrosse.com, and TuneIn.