One of the nation’s premier college conferences is preparing for a drastic change for its teams which will affect their schedules greatly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big 10, which is the college sports home of some of the nation’s biggest athletic schools, like Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State, is planning to have its teams only play their in-conference schedules for fall sports. This is, of course, if college sports even take place in the fall, a possibility which is not 100% certain considering the current situation in the United States.
The sports which this change would impact include cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, and most notably, football. This means that planned encounters such as Oregon-Ohio State and Washington-Michigan won’t take place if sports are allowed to go forward.
The reasoning for the conference’s decision is to reduce travel for schools and also allow for greater cooperation and flexibility, something which the conference values greatly given the fluid situation.
It’s clear that sports and their schedules will have to be adapted in the near future due to the pandemic, but the Big 10’s Wednesday announcement is unprecedented and will have far-reaching effects for programs both within the conference and outside of it.