One of the most anticipated matchups of the 2020 football season was scheduled to go down inside Autzen Stadium on September 12th.
Well, not anymore.
The Big 10 announced Thursday that they would focus on a conference-only schedule for select sports, including football.
The Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.
This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.
A new date for the Ducks-Buckeyes game is not immediately known.
Oregon AD Rob Mullens has issued a statement, as well:
Statement from @GoDucks director of athletics Rob Mullens: “I appreciate Gene Smith reaching out to share the Big 10’s announcement. We agreed to have ongoing discussions about the options for rescheduling the Oregon home game in our series.” #GoDucks— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) July 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the United States and has left the sports world in limbo.
Now, Ohio State and the Big 10 can be added to the list.
College Football Insider Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday that Ohio State had paused all voluntary workouts after multiple student-athletes tested positive for the disease. The school would not release the number of positive tests, only stating that the pausing of workouts was a result of the latest round of testing.
Ohio State has paused all voluntary workouts on campus following the results of its most recent COVID-19 testing of student-athletes. School doesn’t release number of positive tests— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 8, 2020
As a precaution to help flatten the curve, some reported the Big 10 could play a conference only or regional only schedule. The same goes for the Pac-12, with USC head coach Clay Helton saying the conference is considering playing 11 conference games, eliminating all non-conference opponents.
That means Washington vs Michigan this season will be called off, as well.
Still, conferences sticking to a conference-only continue to have a big "IF."
It was announced early Wednesday that the Ivy League has decided to cancel fall sports for the 2020 season.
The Ivy League became to the first league to announce they would not play fall sports, and that is no small drop in the pond.
The Ivy League was also the first league to cancel its basketball championship tournaments earlier this year, and shortly thereafter all the other leagues followed suit.
The Ivy League is officially the first conference to postpone fall sports — just like it was the first conference to cancel its conference tournament back in March. Last time, everybody else followed the Ivy’s lead. So it’ll be interesting to see if the same thing happens again.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 8, 2020
It feels like more dominoes will continue to fall in the coming days and weeks.