In August 2020, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren announced that the conference would not be playing college football in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. Well, two months later, there is Big Ten football, and the first weekend of it was awesome.
The conference saw some surprises over this past weekend including Indiana's upset over previously ranked No. 8 Penn state in overtime. Minnesota opened their highly anticipated season opener against Michigan and fell flat on their face as they fell 49-24 to the Wolverines. Minnesota lost five starters on defense from last season and they are still getting acclimated into the lineup as starters while Michigan has been practicing during the pandemic regardless of whether football was happening in the fall or spring. Even Rutgers upset Michigan State in head coach Greg Schiano's team debut.
My point being is that we saw some great moments and great games over the weekend and it would have been even better if the season started with a limited capacity of fans in the stands. The bad thing about the Big Ten's scheduling is the fact that if you test positive for COVID-19, then you will have to quarantine for 21 days, which is ridiculous because then those players would have to miss the majority of their games to start the season and they would really not get much out of their season if it ended up being that way for the players.
The next thing that the NCAA should have done earlier is get the FCS season pushed up to December and January so that the teams had time to get back on the cycle of a normal offseason instead of a shortened offseason like they are about to have. It makes no sense that North Dakota State can only play one game in the fall and not have their conference games in the fall just like any other school. Playing football in the spring is an awful idea and will cause the talent level for this season to go down with players declaring for the NFL draft early and optioning out of their season.
Getting ahead of the curve is what many of the conferences are doing, and taking away those moments from many of these student athletes is delusional. If high school athletes in North Dakota can play sports, why can't any FCS college football teams play?
It is nonsense, the NCAA got this all wrong, and they lost out on one of the best college football programs for the upcoming season. NDSCS made the right decision by optioning out of the spring season that the Minnesota College Athletic Conference decided to do for their regularly planned fall sports season. Overall, it is great to see high school sports back in Minnesota and North Dakota and Big Ten football back during their fall athletic season.