Three Power Five Conferences Make Football Decisions
Just one day after the Ivy League announced the decision to cancel all fall sports, three Power 5 conferences make decisions on their own football seasons. First reported by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the Big 10 and the Pac-12 have announced that if a fall season does happen, its schools will compete in a conference only schedule. Brett McMurphy of watchstadium.com reports that the ACC is also expected to play a conference-only schedule.
The entire Big 10 statement can be found here. Notable games that are now going to be cancelled are Michigan vs. Washington, Ohio State vs. Oregeon, Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin, Penn State vs Virginia Tech and the rivalry game Iowa vs. Iowa State.
Auerbach is also first to report that the Pac-12 will make a similar announcement in the coming days.
The Pac-12's decision to play only conference games puts Alabama's season opening game against Southern Cal in serious doubt. Other significant Pac-12 games that are likely in serious jeopardy are Colorado vs. Texas A&M, Oregon State vs. Oklahoma State, Stanford vs. Notre Dame and USC vs. Notre Dame.
Brett McMurphy of Watchstadium.com reports that the ACC is also expecting to play a conference-only schedule. Due to the conference's relationship with Notre Dame in basketball, ACC commissioner John Swofford told McMurphy that the conference would partner with the Fighting Irish to play as many games as possible. Notre Dame currently has six games scheduled against members of the ACC.
Auerbach refutes that the ACC has come to any decision yet. The conference has several members with annual rivalries with members in the SEC. Louisville vs. Kentucky, Georgia Tech vs. Georgia, Clemson vs. South Carolina and Florida State vs Florida.
The SEC annually schedules eight conference games per year and according to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports the SEC coaches were caught off guard by the decisions made today by other Power 5 conferences.
Should the SEC be forced to play only conference games this year, questions will manifest as to what is the appropriate amount of games to play. Should the conference stick with its originally scheduled eight games, increase the season to nine games, or even stretch it to ten?
The Crimson Tide already has three non-conference games scheduled in Bryant-Denny Stadium, inviting Georgia State, Kent State and UT-Martin to the Capstone for contests. Will Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne, push to replace those with one more matchup with an SEC Eastern opponent?
Time will tell, but the college football season has never been more in jeopardy than it is today.