Sam Burnham, Curator
So the Big 10...er...11...14...whatever...has cancelled their fall season. They say they’re looking at a possible spring season, you know, like the USFL or XFL. Shortly afterwards their hippie cousins in the PAC-12 made the same announcement.
No one who grew up before the BCS should be surprised. These two conferences used to be locked into the Rose Bowl and therefore could never play a power from another conference for a true national championship. If they could stay away from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, or Clemson, they could put together a strong season and claim a national championship. That’s the only way Southern Cal, Ohio State, or Michigan ever won one.
So the SEC, ACC, and Big 12(10) are saying they are going to play. Notre Dame appears poised to participate in the ACC for a season. Most of the mid-majors have cancelled. Divisions II and III have been all but cancelled by the NCAA. There will be no FCS Playoffs. So there will only be big money ball this fall.
The intriguing turn has been from schools like Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa. Players are coming together to say they want to play. Penn State Head Coach James Franklin tweeted out a statement declaring his commitment to “exhaust all options” for his players who want to play.
So what options do they have? These are perennial powers. Iowa is seeing a resurgence of their program. It should be noted that Minnesota and Illinois really need to play. The Gophers and Illini had great seasons and a layoff and the transfer portal could destroy that momentum. Do you temporarily join another conference? Do you form a temporary conference of your own? Does Nebraska just wander home to the Big XII for good? There’s a small window of time to answer many questions.
Before the zealots come running out screaming about “science,” ACC medical expert Dr. Cameron Wolfe says the season can be played safely. Also consider that active players are constantly under the care of trained medical staff. Team doctors and athletic trainers are always evaluating the overall health of players. There is no medical plan on Earth that can compete with what is provided for NCAA athletes. Players will be safer in season than they could ever be with the season cancelled.
if you really care about equality, you want this to succeed. It’s unpopular but just proven reality that football pays all the bills for athletic departments nationwide. Without football, all the other sports, including women’s sports, are broke.
The season is closing in. It’s going to look very different than it has in the past. Fit the teams in who want to play and let’s make this happen. The players want it, the coaches want it, the fans want it, the science supports it, and the country needs it. If you’re scared, say you’re scared. If you’re not, play ball.
The Curator and other knowledgeable voices...mostly Southerners... on the subject