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Buckeye Bits: NCAA cancels fall championships, Ryan Day fights for season

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FloSports: FloVolleyball NCAA National Championship Match Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

As we begin to wind down yet another week in the eternal episode of “The Twilight Zone” that is 2020, there remains faint glimmers of hope that there will still be at least one last season of college football before the end times. However, that still far-off dream is not one being led by the stuffed-suits that normally navigate the bureaucratic tasks of planning and scheduling.

No, instead, galloping in to take the reins as the powers that be have gone suspiciously silent is an unexpected group, unaccustomed to the intricacies of administration; college coaches.

Could they be the ones to save a season that those otherwise responsible for shepherding have abandoned without a fight? Time will tell, friends. But, tune in to Buckeye Bits — Monday through Friday, same time, same channel — to find out the answer.

From Land-Grant Holy Land...

Top 2021 prospects weigh in on Big Ten’s decision

Tia Johnston, LGHL

There is a lot of doom and gloom out there about how the Big Ten canceling football this fall will impact recruiting. I think that as of now, it’s a bit overblown as I think that it is only a matter of time before the rest of the leagues follow suit; but it’s still not a fun topic to think about.

Ohio State football has been canceled in 2020, but there’s still a team in Columbus to support right now

Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL

On Tuesday, not only did the B1G cancel football, but the Columbus Blue Jackets lost a five-overtime game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Fortunately today, they rebounded with an impressive 3-1 victory and pulled even with the Tampa Bay Lightning, thanks in no small part to a ridiculous through-the-legs, off-his-own-skate, absolutely-on-purpose goal by Alexander Wennberg.

From around the gridiron...

The NCAA does not control the Football Bowl Subdivision championship, so this does not directly mean that the College Football Playoff is officially canceled for the fall; and even if it did, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that the ACC, Big 12, and SEC wouldn’t continue to play as planned without a playoff.

However, I think that this continues to add pressure to those conferences’ presidents when it comes to making a decision on whether their football teams will attempt to play as scheduled or not. Now, to be fair, the NCAA’s decision likely has more to do with the fact that too many schools and conferences had already voluntarily canceled fall competitions for championships to hold much water than any legitimate concern over athlete safety (this is the NCAA we’re talking about after all).

But, this means that FBS football is now the only collegiate sport of any kind, at any level, that is still scheduled to play this fall. I imagine — despite confidence in their testing protocols, and public and leaked statements about playing — this is going to make it next to impossible to rationalize football games being played while all other athletes are forced to the sidelines.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said in the video that the organization’s focus is now on the winter and spring championships, since they were all canceled in 2020. The plans will likely see smaller fields and predetermined venues — versus many championships in which higher seeds host opening rounds. Sure sounds like the NCAA is considering bubbling student-athletes, which I long thought would be a non-starter for many reasons, legitimate and otherwise.

However, if that is something that is actually on the table, one has to wonder why they did not put plans in place in the spring and summer for these type of protocols to be ready for fall sports. But again, this is the NCAA that we’re talking about, and expecting any type of forward thinking from them is a fool’s errand.

Ryan Day Makes Pitch for Players to Stay at Ohio State Rather than Leave for NFL Draft, Transfer

Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

No matter how badly we all want it, I’m not going to let myself get my hopes up about having any type of college football season during the 2020-21 academic year. However, even if a season is highly unlikely, I want my team’s head coach to continue to fight for his program and his players. I’ll have info on Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm’s spring season proposal below, but to me, it’s less about the specifics of the individual plans that coaches are putting forward, and more about their efforts to advocate for their athletes.

Normally, I have the utmost faith in the Big Ten to foresee issues before anyone else on the college football landscape; generally, I believe that the B1G is the unquestioned leader in college athletics. But they royally screwed the pooch on this one.

As I have said many times before, I am not a scientist, epidemiologist, or even really all that intelligent, so I really don’t have any answers about what should or shouldn’t be done when it comes to the health and safety of student-athletes. But, what I do know is that nearly no one did enough to try and make playing college football this fall safe.

Would it have been possible to play if the NCAA, Big Ten, and Power 5 conferences had started working together in March or April to develop plans to mitigate risks and concerns? I have no idea. But I do know that whatever they did do, wasn’t enough.

Shaun Wade has played his final game as a Buckeye.

Randy Wade said this is what would happen long before an announcement to cancel the fall season was made, so this isn’t a surprise, and I would expect Shaun to make an official announcement in the next few days.

Big Ten Medical Report Details Serious Cardiovascular Concerns From Experts

Dylan Wallace, Sports Illustrated

This isn’t a new report, and we’ve talked about it before, so I’m not going to open the can of worms that is the arguments around this study. But, I did want to share this message from former Northwestern head coach Randy Walker’s widow. Coach Walker died two years after being diagnosed with myocarditis.

Big Ten could lose up to $1B in revenue after canceling fall football

Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post

Honestly, this is the reason that I thought that the B1G presidents would push for a season to happen. I mean, part of me is grateful that they chose not to prioritize the money, but my only other question is whether or not it was actually student-athlete health that actually did guide their decisions.

Brohm: My plan to safely play Big Ten football this spring and fall 2021

Jeff Brohm, The Athletic (paywall)

This is an comprehensive, and seemingly logical, plan, but I do think that it is interesting that a team with very few (if any) players likely to forgo an early 2021 season would be pushing to start in late February vs. Day whose plan calls to start Jan. 1 to get all of those NFL-bound players one more season of college football.

Here is Brohm’s proposal in visual format:

From around the hardwood...

Here are eight bracket formats from 16 to 96 teams that could be used for the 2021 NCAA Tournament

Matt Norlander, CBSSports

I mean, these are some ideas! If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that this was one of the weird, out-of-the-box articles that we come up with hear at LGHL. Norlander has a little bit of everything in here; from getting rid of conference tournaments (something I’d be fine with in a non-pandemic ravaged year) to an all automatic-bid field to a 96-team tourney (although he admits this is a terrible idea).

As I have said many times on Twitter, this is 2020, and nothing makes sense, so sports should be embracing the #Weird anywhere they can.

Former Buckeye’s career ends with denied waiver.

From everywhere else...

And, exercising their rights to do so, Columbus City Schools postponed their fall sports today.

U.S. senators lay out framework for future college sports legislation

Dan Murphy, ESPN

I mean, they just went on a three-week break while a large portion of the country is suffering and/or dying, but thanks for finally doing something with the NCAA, folks.

I haven’t played Madden since before most of you reading this were born, but this looks awesome.