NCAA

Maryland finds itself in absurd new conference in reimagined CFB landscape

Maryland finds itself in absurd new conference in reimagined CFB landscape

With the coronavirus pandemic threatening the 2020 college football season, the game could look a bit different if games ultimately go on this fall. 

In response to potential change, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reimagined the college football landscape with sweeping changes to conferences, regular-season schedules and the college football playoff. Here's an overview of his proposal:

120 teams (10 conferences with 12 teams each)
Conferences are designed to minimize travel, with no more than eight Power 5 schools in each league
Each league plays a round-robin schedule with one non-conference game
No conference championship games
10 conference champs and two at-large teams go to the College Football Playoff (Top 4 get a bye)
Bowl games for some who don't make the playoff

The major takeaway for the Terps? Their conference is kind of brutal.

Forde has Maryland in the "Yankee" conference along with Penn State, Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Temple, Pitt, Army, Navy, UConn, UMass and Buffalo. 

RELATED: ZERO MARYLAND STUDENT-ATHLETES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Now, it wouldn't be the most brutal schedule, as Maryland would find themselves as one of the top five teams in the conference. But the travel schedule is rough. The Terps would be one of the southern-most teams in their league and would have to travel to New England and New York on multiple occasions in the fall and early winter. 

Coming from someone who went to UMass, football season in New England after the first four weeks of the years is just cruel. And no, it's not because of the snow. It's the soul-crushing wind gusts that won't go away no matter how much you plead to mother nature. 

Ideally, the Terps would be in the Mid-Atlantic Conference with schools like Clemson, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Geography just seems like it's going to bite the Terps here if the NCAA ever decided to go this route. 

If they do and Maryland ends up playing a good chunk of its schedule up at Winterfell, Mike Locksley and his players are going to need long-johns, knit hats and hand-warmers. Lots and lots of hand-warmers. 

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NCAA president Mark Emmert says fall championships can't happen at this time

NCAA president Mark Emmert says fall championships can't happen at this time

While conferences and schools across the nation are withdrawing from the 2020 fall sports season due to the coronavirus pandemic, others remain adamant that games and seasons can be played.

However, for those who are planning on having a fall campaign, their hopes of competing for a championship could still be derailed. According to NCAA president Mark Emmert, all Division I sports besides football --- which operates on the bowl schedule -- are in jeopardy of losing a title season due to the lack of teams involved.

“We cannot, now at this point, have fall NCAA Championships because there’s not enough schools participating," Emmert said during the NCAA Social Series on Thursday. "The Board of Governors also said, ‘look if you don’t have half the schools playing the sport you can’t have a legitimate championship.’”

Emmert noted that the fall can still be beneficial to universities as programs can put all their focus into safety protocols and maintaining the health of players. Additionally, players can still remain on campus and prepare for the spring season.

As for actual competition in the coming months, Emmert has begun to look ahead to 2021 with the hope that teams have the opportunity to compete when the spring comes around. Specifically, he wants to make sure that winter and spring sports -- who already lost a season in 2020 -- are not forced to suffer through the same fate again.

In order to do that, he's considering numerous altercations to sports such as modified bubbles and smaller brackets for postseason play. The procedures will become clearer in the coming months as more questions about the virus and its impact are answered.

For now, Emmert is optimistic that the NCAA has the capability to bring sports back in a safe way. But to do so, a lot of work still needs to be done.

“There’s a way to do it. Will it be normal? Of course not, you’ll be playing fall sports in the spring. Will it create other challenges? Of course. But is it doable? Yeah, it is doable and we want to do that," Emmert said. "We want to, again, make it work for these students.”

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Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Despite growing momentum to cancel the fall football season, the Big 12 reportedly is moving forward with their plans to play.

ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr. reported on Wednesday morning that the Big 12's board of directors met for over an hour yesterday to discuss the fallout of decisions made to postpone the fall season from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12. 

Following days of speculation the Big Ten would cancel fall sports, the conference officially pulled the plug Tuesday citing concerns of the myriad of complications that come along with playing a season during a pandemic. 

The Big 12, however, is leading the charge in trying to set up safe way to play the fall season. ESPN reported there will be revised conference-only schedules coming out shortly after the season was again pushed back to Sept. 26. Stadium reported the Big 12 may have more news. 

The decision also comes on the back of growing support from athletes to find a solution in making sure this season gets played. The face of college football, Trevor Lawrence, has repeatedly tweeted his stance that going forward with a season will actually be safer for the athletes

Whether or not more Power 5 sides like the SEC and ACC follow suit remains to be seen, but it is widely speculated that these football-crazed conferences are determined to find a way. 

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