The Big Ten has been the consummate rollercoaster over the last month, teetering between optimistic crests and pessimistic depths. Earlier this week, Dan Patrick didn’t see a path to nine teams, which was not fantastic news as he’s emerged of late as a Big Ten insider. But, there have since been some positive signs. This morning, Outkick founder Clay Travis tweeted:
Hearing increasing optimism about Big Ten fall football season. Still lots of moving parts, but health obstacles to playing are significantly declining. Presidents & chancellors could have new vote early next week.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 10, 2020
This follows a pivot from ESPN college football reporter Adam Rittenberg, who tweeted on Wednesday that the Big Ten’s “timeline to return is moving up. Won’t be as quick as many want, but late October isn’t out of the question.” Last week, Rittenberg wrote that late November was the “earliest” possible start.
Legal considerations could be nudging the Big Ten. A judge ordered them to produce more documents related to the Nebraska players’ lawsuit by September 12th. The Ohio attorney general believes Ohio State could sue the conference.
We know for sure that Ohio State, Nebraska, and Iowa want to play. You can make rational cases for Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Penn State. Michigan has been a holdup as Dr. Mark Schlissel is reported to be an impediment to return to play, while the school demands that striking grad school student employees work on campus. If Michigan can be swung, which should be conceivable since the state’s governor Gretchen Whitmer reversed course and is permitting high school football this Fall, the Big Ten should have a real shot at playing in October.
Let’s hope this actually gets done.