For now there’s still hope. Every college football reporter you’ve heard of (Bruce Feldman, Pete Thamel, etc.) is saying that the Big 12 for now at least is siding with the SEC and ACC over the Big Ten and Pac-12 in terms of not being ready to cancel football season yet.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has been forthright: no one can say for sure there will be football season, but it’s too soon to cancel for the Fall.
During this period of uncertainty the Big Ten and Pac-12 should be prepared for open season. This will apply to transfers — we’re seeing high school players move halfway across the country so they can have a football season. You think that won’t happen to a degree in college? Even with eligibility rules, if you transfer there’s no cost because your school isn’t playing this Fall anyways.
We are also going to see a lot of chatter about Big Ten schools joining other conferences. Nebraska has been the most aggressive in courting suitors. I get it they’re not that good. Where it gets interesting is Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and Penn State head coach James Franklin have intimated that they would explore options. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh was adamant in his disagreement of canceling football season now.
Who knows how their university administrators would feel about joining another conference this year, but then again who knows who is really more powerful when push comes to shove — big time football coaches or university presidents?
Even if little to no program poaching comes to fruition, the Big Ten and to a lesser extent the Pac-12, who have been using the Big Ten as a meat shield to jump first this whole time, will deserve all the rumors and innuendo coming their way over the next several weeks. Let’s especially see what happens with Ohio State, whose president Kristina Johnson reportedly did not wish to vote to cancel the season as recently as Monday.
We’ll see if the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 can pull this off, but they deserve credit for not abandoning their seasons too soon.