John Harbaugh, of course, has a bit more invested than most others in there being Big Ten football in the 2020 season.
John’s brother, Jim, is the head coach at the University of Michigan and has been since 2015. The two's father, Jack, coached defensive backs at Michigan in the 1970s. Football in the Big Ten, specifically at Michigan, is part of the Harbaugh family.
So when John Harbaugh was asked about the new rule enforcing coaches and to wear masks on the sideline Wednesday, he joked the “bad lip reading” industry is going to take a hit. Then, he took the opportunity to make his claim for there to be football in what might be college football's best conference.
“With that, I’ll throw a little controversy out there,” John said. “This is my position: I say, free the Big Ten. Free the Big Ten! Let’s go, let’s get Michigan and Ohio State and all those great teams playing some football. Michigan had zero positive tests in August, they’re doing a great job with their protocols and those guys want to play.”
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren had a call with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss the possibility, and concerns, of restarting the 2020 regular season after a postponement in early August. In a tweet, Trump indicated the plans to return were on the “one-yard line!”
The ACC, SEC and Big 12 have all decided to play on, with shortened and modified schedules. The Pac-12 has been the only "Power Five" conference to postpone its season.
Every FCS conference school has either canceled outright or postponed, fall sports. Every Division II and Division III conference has also canceled or postponed its season, too.
After originally postponing the season, it would appear the Big Ten is on the doorstep of reinstating some sort of 2020 season.
It might be possible to see the Harbaugh brothers on the sidelines this year, after all.
“For anybody that wants to opt out, they can,” John continued. “Their families should have that choice, just like the Southeast Conference gave the players and families in the Southeast Conference that choice. Most of them, as you know, decided to play as a family. I think the Big Ten players and families should have that same choice. I’m on record. There ya go! You got it, free the Big Ten.”