Big Ten Cancels Its 2020 Football Season, What Comes Next?
Multiple reports are saying the Big Ten presidents have voted to cancel the 2020 fall football season, and that leagues will attempt to play in the spring.
So what does that mean for Notre Dame and for the rest of college football?
Well, one way this impacts Notre Dame, or at least Notre Dame fans, is they don't have to hear from Big Ten fans who say the Irish should join their league.
Outside of that, this doesn't have an impact on Notre Dame's potential for a 2020 season, at least not directly. There will now be a great deal of pressure on ACC, SEC and Big 12 school presidents from some in the media, some on the political level and through backdoor channels with Big Ten leaders.
The Big Ten presidents, and commissioner Kevin Warren, have reportedly been trying for several days to convince other Power 5 leagues to join them in sitting out the fall. The reason is obvious, they do not want to cancel the season, for whatever reasons they might have, and have other Power 5 leagues continue to play. What if those leagues play and things go off smoothly? That would likely have disastrous financial and perception ramifications for the leadership of the Big Ten and its member institutions.
Of course, the opposite could also be true. The other leagues might attempt to play and things go horribly wrong, and the Big Ten leaders look smart and wise. I would imagine most would root for the former, as that would mean COVID-19 is being handled.
One of three big questions now exist.
1) Will this domino result in the other four Power 5 leagues ultimately canceling, or will they make their own decisions? With the Big Ten now canceling the Pac 12 will likely follow suit in the very near future. That will only give proponents of canceling the season more ammunition against the other Power 5 commissioners and presidents.
2) Will some Big Ten members decide to play in a different league this season? The Big 12, which only has 12 teams, could look at this as an opportunity to get Nebraska back, even if for just one season. Would that then have a similar enticement to those Big Ten teams, especially Nebraska, as the ACC's overtures could have with Notre Dame.
3) Should the other three Power 5 conferences continue for the fall, how will this decision by the Big Ten, and the eventual decision by the Pac 12, impact decisions made by the NCAA in regards to players looking to transfer. The reality is unless the NFL completely changes its offseason there will be a number of players who won't play in the spring and will instead skip it and start preparing for the NFL Draft.
Will the NCAA allow Big Ten and Pac 12 players to transfer and have immediate eligibility? Will the NCAA expand scholarship numbers by the remaining leagues to allow them to accommodate players from the Big Ten, Pac 12, MAC and Mountain West?
Should the ACC and Notre Dame decide to play, how would Notre Dame go about possibly adding new players. A player like Oregon's Thomas Graham or Stanford's Paulson Adebo, two former Notre Dame commits (one silent, one public) come to mind.
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