This year has brought mostly uncertainty and a "let's see how it plays out" mentality to the sports world. As we've started to see leagues come back, some have had tremendous success, some have had bumps, and others, like the Big Ten, have completely changed course.
On August 11, the Big Ten announced that it would postpone all fall sports seasons, including football, due to concerns with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Now though, it looks like football will be played after all, with the season starting the weekend of October 23-24.
There's no question there was a ton of pressure both internally and externally for the conference to change their stance, and after updated protocols and a decision that was said to have been in the works for several weeks, whatever the factors were in making this decision, we'll have Big Ten football again next month.
That means Mike Locksley and the Maryland Terrapins have about five weeks or so to get ready for an eight-game schedule.
"To have the opportunity to play football in the fall, everyone here in our building is really excited about having this opportunity," Locksley told NBC Sports Washington. "We all realize a lot of hard work and effort went into getting us back to the point we are from a medical standpoint."
For Locksley, he gets to focus on coaching. He's a football coach, and that's what his job will be. But let's not overlook the fact that this is a different year, under different circumstances, and it takes a lot of people to not only get to this point but to also help finish a successful college football season too.
"About a month ago, we were all just hypothesizing about what we can do," head team physician and assistant director of the University of Maryland Health Center Dr. Yvette Rooks said. "We were looking at what was out there. I mean, this playbook on COVID is being written as we go along. We have not experienced something like this before in America and especially how it's involved sports, sports on the national level all the way down to amateur sports."
That means a whole new routine for the Terps on a daily basis, all while still trying to focus on football.
"For us, the expectation is to take the next step. Improve form last year to this year," Locksley said.
Last year in Locksley's first season, the Terps finished just 1-8 in the conference, so yeah, there's plenty of room for growth as he rebuilds the program.
It sure won't be easy in the weird year that is 2020, but now the Terrapins at least have the chance to do that with the season back on.