Did Notre Dame Blow Up The Big Ten's Plan?

Camping World Bowl - Notre Dame v Iowa State

Maybe the Big Ten thoughts when it made its decision to not play football in the fall others would follow. They could be viewed as the leaders of a decision others were not willing to be first. After all, they are the Big Ten. A league that prides itself on its history, academics, prominent alums and football. But then something happened.

The Big Ten guessed correctly that the Pac 12 would follow and not play in the fall but then the dominoes stopped. The ACC was supposed to follow and that would have forced the Big XII and SEC to get on board or face the wave of criticism. But the tide didn't turn.

Maybe the ACC was right there but a call from Notre Dame may have changed all plans. The Irish wanted to play and needed games. So an opportunity no one expected came to be. The ACC had a chance to make Notre Dame a conference member, even for one season.

When that happened, the Big Ten may have felt a good plan was halted. The Big XII and SEC had a third Power 5 league and three is more than two. By now the media, political and social dividers were in place. It now became a story about where you are from, who you vote for and what you believe as to whether you care about safety or not. This is America.

So fast forward to where we are now and you know who is trying to play this fall and who is not. And maybe the Big Ten is trying to spin their way out of their original decision.

A rookie commissioner does not have the clout of Jim Delaney. The now retired former leader of the league, would likely have never put his conference in such a position. Heck, some believe Delaney is funneling his good friend, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, plans of how to get out of the mess they are in.

So we have a new idea. Let's start Thanksgiving weekend. You can sell it that two extra months allowed the Big Ten to work with its medical team and gather data on the return of students to campuses and take advantage of new testing that is cost efficient, more reliable and better timing for results. 

But Thanksgiving? Imagine, the Big Ten will kickoff a season as the rest of those playing in the fall are 80% into their schedule. And the College Football Playoff committee will be announcing its field of four when Ohio State, ranked second in the poll, is getting set to play its fourth game? What is the point?

The playoffs are not waiting for the Big Ten. So the Big Ten may as well decide if it's now safer than it was three weeks ago to play and try and start early October and join everyone else for a post season or start early January as many believed they would. 

Michigan proudly announced a round of testing with no positives. Teams are still practicing. Schools will still report positive tests because the virus still lives in our world . I find it difficult to challenge credibility during a pandemic because our world changes hourly.

But the Big Ten has turned this into a charade. They put themselves into this position. This may be an interesting week as they try and spin their way out of it.

Meanwhile, have you heard anything out of the Pac 12? Not a beep. Maybe they don't care as much about college football out west. Maybe their 12-page document on why they are not playing has satisfied all. But it's fascinating to compare the two leagues.

For a conference that prides itself on its history, the Big Ten may write another chapter in its football history book with the decision to play and when to play...

Notes: You know a coach was special when players talk about the impact that coach on their lives off the field or court. John Thompson is one of the coaches. The legendary coach from Georgetown was so much more than a dominating force of a program that rose to national status producing great big men and help create the Big East into the great conference it became...I watched because it was a football game. But the quality of Austin Peay and Central Arkansas was that of a FCS game. That's not a knock on the two schools. But it shows the difference of FCS vs FBS. It was a first game, so nothing was smooth and Austin Peay was missing not one, but three long snappers. But passing was below average and the game was sloppy throughout. It did have a fun and exciting finish. Now Central Arkansas will try to get to 2-0 with a Thursday game at UAB...Bravo to the PGA who has delivered during their return to play. Another exciting finish with the world's top two players this past weekend with Jon Rahm dropping a 60-foot putt to win a playoff over Dustin Johnson. The Tour Championship is this week before the US Open and ratings for the sport have been strong and get the benefit the next two weeks of not competing with college football's normal Labor Day schedule but does face off against the NFL during the final round of the US Open...

Final note: Teepees are still used by tribes in the Rocky Mountains...

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