Big Ten, Pac-12 Updates on Fall Football
The college football season may have kicked off in recent weeks, but there are still two notable absences on NCAA college football Saturdays — the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference.The two Power 5 conferences made headlines during the summer months by voting to opt-out of the 2020 fall season in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But now, the two major football conferences appear to be reversing course on its original decisions.
Over the weekend, the Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors met to discuss the potential of restarting the fall football season and hear updated medical information, but a vote wasn’t taken, according to a report from ESPN.com. The report continued by adding that a formal vote is expected to come later this week.
The Big Ten’s medical subcommittee outlined plans that included new testing possibilities and updated information on myocarditis. The presentation also broadened beyond the medical component to include more specifics about how and when the Big Ten could start the season, along with possible dates and the medical thresholds that each team must meet in order to return. A potential start date of Oct. 17 is one option being discussed, according to ESPN.com sources, and likely would allow Big Ten teams to complete the regular season before the College Football Playoff selections are made.
In a separate report from ESPN.com, a source noted the Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return-to-play plan could see west coast football return by mid-to-late November. This comes after the conference announced a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of FDA-approved rapid tests that would allow programs to test student-athletes daily.
The report went on to suggest that the new testing systems will be on every Pac-12 campus by the end of September, but schools in California and Oregon have yet to be cleared by public health officials to resume contact practices and games.
Pac-12 commissioner called the purchase of the new tests a “game-changer”, according to ESPN.com, and said it could allow the conference to resume competition before the new year.