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The Big Ten and Pac-12 believe it’s not safe to play. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC say, ``Play on.’’ Here at TMG we say, ``Write on.’’ And so, we present our fifth annual Sweet 16 Countdown to the college football season, 2020 edition.

While we’re looking at what’s still scheduled to happen—and the pandemic may yet have the final say on the determination of the ACC, Big 12 and SEC to play on—it’s important to keep in mind what won’t happen.

Even if the Persistent Three dodge the pandemic bullet, the 2020 college football season will be deprived of some magical matchups in nonconference and post-season play.

High on the list of nonconference casualties is the Notre Dame-Wisconsin get-together at historic Lambeau Field. Expectations were higher for the Irish than the Badgers, but this game and the meeting with Clemson seemed likely to tell the ND tale. The Badgers also had scheduled an interesting nonconference matchup against Group of 5 power Appalachian State.

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While bidding for its fourth title in five years in the oft-maligned Big Ten West, Wisconsin remained under the radar for the Big Ten overall, in the shadow of Ohio State and anyone (Penn State? Michigan?) who might have unseated the Buckeyes.

Wisconsin needed to replace stellar running back Jonathan Taylor, but it has a good track record for finding its next ballcarrier.

And If Jack Coen is more of a Steady Eddie at QB, stud recruit Graham Mertz, in his second year in Madison, was lurking in case Paul Chryst decided to make a change. Would it have happened this fall? Sigh. We’ll never know.