I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty burnt out. We are now two weeks into the month of September. We have seen two weekends of college football, including the first Power 5 team taking the field last night when Miami played UAB. We even saw the NFL open its season last night as the Chiefs defeated the Texans on Thursday Night Football.
To my knowledge at this point, all of these football games — as well as thousands of high school football games — have gone off without a hitch. Heck, last night’s NFL matchup even had FANS in the stands. The rest of the ACC and the Big 12 are ready to kickoff their season this Saturday, and the SEC will join them next weekend. And yet, here we are a full month removed from the Big Ten’s decision to cancel fall football, and the conference has not said a word.
The pressure on the B1G has grown to an almost impossible level. Ryan Day made a huge statement this week when he dropped a letter asking a simple question for the conference to answer for his players: why can’t they play? Football is happening all across the country as we speak, a lot of it in areas way more heavily impacted by this pandemic than in the Midwest where the Big Ten teams reside. In terms of Ohio State specifically, both NFL teams in the state as well as high school football are playing this fall. The people want answers.
Kevin Warren and his constituents must come up with something right now. Not in a month, not in January — right now. If there is indeed a safe avenue to play in October as Day insinuated in his letter that the Big Ten medical subcommittee is suggesting, then that should be the primary option for moving forward. If not, then you must be able to explain to the thousands of players, coaches, and lastly fans why it is unsafe for your teams to play, but okay for the rest of the Power 5 that is continuing to do so.
Let’s get to today’s headlines,
which will certainly answer all of our questions.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Ohio State commits are making a habit of becoming valuable recruiting assets themselves.
Ohio State star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis declares for NFL Draft
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
The first domino in the wake of the Big Ten cancellation has fallen for the Buckeyes, as Wyatt Davis is off to the NFL. Davis returned to Ohio State to try and chase a national title despite being a projected first round NFL Draft pick after last season, but clearly feels he will not get that chance with the conference dragging their feet.
Our second edition of the LGHL Group Chat is up, and there is lots to discuss this week. Matt remembers life pre-COVID, Connor previews season four of The Masked Singer, Tia talks about Skip Bayless being an insensitive idiot, and much more!
Clemson, Notre Dame, and Texas all look to cover spreads on Saturday
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
Money, Cash & Joes is back, and while Ohio State won’t be taking the field this weekend, that doesn't mean you can’t use the college football slate to make some easy cash (if sports betting is legal in your state, of course).
Ohio State 2020 Virtual Season preview: Week 2 at Oregon
(George Eisner, LGHL)
Be sure to come hang out with us on Twitch Saturday night, as George will be on the call for Ohio State’s second virtual game of the year as they take on Oregon in Eugene. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
From around the gridiron...
It appears that the alleged meeting between Big Ten presidents and the conference’s return to play task force that some had reported was slated to happen last weekend will actually be happening in the coming days. As Pete Thamel explains, this doesn’t exactly mean there will be full on re-vote, as if “medical standards aren’t where they need to be,” there will not be any vote taken.
Here’s what’s important: “If the medical standards aren’t where they need to be – tests, contact tracing and myocarditis – they’ll be no vote.” 2/2— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 11, 2020
It turns out college football coaches, players and fans aren’t the only ones frustrated with how the Big Ten has handled the aftermath of their decision to abruptly cancel the season. Who woulda thought? Also, why is October only realistic for a handful of teams? You can’t tell me any B1G school has less resources to play football this fall than Austin Peay or UAB.
Talked with several #B1G sources today who are frustrated with the changing timelines about a possible restart. Originally, lot of support for early Jan. Then, it became Thanksgiving. Now, mid/late October, which may only be realistic for a handful of teams. Need resolution soon.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 11, 2020
Something that appeared to look like bad news then came across the timeline on Friday, as Dennis Dodd of CBS reported that the Minnesota Board of Regents voted down a proposal to proceed with fall sports, including football.
A resolution by the U of Minnesota Board of Regents to proceed with Big Ten fall sports, including fb, “at the earliest logistically-possible date ... with appropriate safeguards and monitoring ...” was just voted down 9-3. This afternoon. pic.twitter.com/TXfksIeusd— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) September 11, 2020
However, as it was later explained by Megan Ryan, the Gophers beat reporter for the Star Tribune, the 9-3 vote was not actually opposing a fall football season. Basically, the board felt as though it isn’t their decision to make, and did not want to be on record as pushing the president to vote in favor of a season. They also did not feel it was fair that this resolution was brought up without warning. One member actually preferred withdrawing the proposal rather than voting on it so it would not be misinterpreted in the media.
One regent actually mentioned withdrawing the proposal instead of voting on it because he worried “the media” would misinterpret the no vote. The Gophers are losing $75 million in revenue and cutting three sports. Pretty sure they’d really like to find a way to play.— Megan Ryan (@theothermegryan) September 11, 2020
Wyatt Davis made sure to throw a little shade Kevin Warren’s way on his way out the door. Ohio State’s star guard feels let down by the commissioner for his lack of leadership during these last few weeks. The lack of transparency and no clear path forward for the Big Ten to play left Davis feeling as though his best option was to look out for his own future, and we can’t exactly blame him. We wish Davis all the best, and are excited to watch him be great in the NFL next season as a nearly sure-fire first round draft pick.
Wyatt Davis to @LettermenRow: "It's very bittersweet. It's tough. I came back to win a national championship, and with the season just getting pushed back and pushed back and no communication from the commissioner, my family and I thought it was best to take the next step."— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) September 11, 2020
After the Pac-12 announced a partnership earlier this week with the San Diego-based healthcare manufacturer Quidel, the Big 12 has now followed suit. According to the company, they have the capabilities to perform rapid-response testing that can give results within 15 minutes. This would seemingly be a huge step towards a safe return to football, as every athlete could be tested the morning of a game to avoid any potential spread. My only question is why hasn’t the Big Ten hopped on board yet?
The Big 12 has entered a partnership with Quidel Rapid Antigen tests, which allows for 15-minute results and batch testing capabilities, per release.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 11, 2020
In other news, the Nebraska Attorney General has issued a letter to Kevin Warren warning that the conference is acting non-compliant to the Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation Act, and has set a 9/21 deadline for the B1G to prove their cancellation followed conference bylaws. Things continue to get uglier and uglier for the Big Ten, and it would be so much simpler if they would just be transparent with everything going on behind closed doors.
Nebraska’s Attorney General has issued a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren warning that the conference appears to be non-compliant with the Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation Act.— Sports Law Lust (@SportsLawLust) September 11, 2020
The letter sets a 9/21 deadline for the conference to prove cancellation followed B1G bylaws. pic.twitter.com/ppBvIgsOOW
From everywhere else...
Stay classy, Chiefs fans.
Don’t kneel. Don’t lock arms. Don’t love each other. Don’t empathize with your brother. Don’t care about your country. Don’t speak up for the vulnerable. Don’t seek justice or righteousness.— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) September 11, 2020
Personally, I take mental health issues very seriously, as I myself as well as people close to me have struggled with mental health in the past. Skip Bayless is an absolute moron, and SvP hits the nail on the head as he usually does when it comes to the bigger picture.
As a Mets fan and more importantly someone who grew up in New York during the tragic events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, Mike Piazza’s post-9/11 home run was an incredible moment not just for fans of baseball, but for a state and a country as a whole that needed to see something to provide a spark of hope.