Cavalcade of Whimsy College Football Season Debut: Oh That Wacky Big Ten

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Cavalcade of Whimsy College Football Season Debut: Oh That Wacky Big Ten

College Football Cavalcade

Cavalcade of Whimsy College Football Season Debut: Oh That Wacky Big Ten


Because a wildly successful business just LOVES losing hundreds of millions of dollars

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but 26 football parents showed up at the Big Ten headquarters. They’ve come armed with a fully loaded snit, and they appear ready to throw it.

Ohhhhh noooooo … the Big Ten has a PR issue.

Ohhhhh noooooo … commissioner Kevin Warren is getting negative press for simply representing the Big Ten presidents, who actually made the decision to postpone the season.

Ohhhhh noooooo … how will the business model ever survive, considering Big Ten fans love the product so much that they lost their minds once it was taken away?

Ohhhhh nooooo … the recruiting! Oh dear heavens (pearls fully clutched) won’t somebody PLEASE think of the recruiting?

Wait a minute. This escalated quickly. The football parents are taking this to a whole other level with a bluntly-worded letter. Oh no …

They … they have a … a … a signed petition?!

Okay. Let’s be reasonable about this. We’re not monsters. There’s no need for things to get out of control. No matter what, we can work this out. There’s no reason to do anything we’ll all regret, and … 

Oh dear God. For the love of humanity and all its glorious beauty, this is not a drill. Repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL …

They have handmade signs.


Now what? How can the biggest conference in college athletics possibly survive after all of THAT this summer?

My fellow brothers and sisters in the college football media world.

1) I love you, but why the hell did you give the “movement” so much oxygen? Did you conflate people whining over not having Big Ten football for a few months – and parents complaining about their sons having to delay their college football careers for a bit – with the real, meaningful activism happening throughout the summer?

2) Coaches don’t make policy. If it’s not coming from a college president, most athletic directors, or Warren, it’s almost always delivered with a basket of bull muffins.

3) Really? Some of you seriously fell for the stunt? There are people operating among us who actually believe that a call from the President of the United States was going to get the Big Ten playing football next week.

You want ego at the highest of levels? Try 11 major university presidents whose decision is being questioned.

4) Doesn’t anyone fully understand what a monster the Big Ten is?

Yeah, it was a bad look for the conference. So?

I’m not being a snot here – what do you actually think will happen to the Big Ten?

That’s right. Absolutely nothing.

The Big Ten pulls in over $750 million a year. It has the biggest geographic reach, the biggest alumni base, and the biggest collective group of TV markets of any of the college conferences.

And don’t think for a second that a part of this isn’t about the ACC, Big 12, and SEC sticking it to the biggest bad boy on the block.

Yeah, individual schools and athletic departments are getting financially crushed right now, but that snaps back – albeit in a different way – and the cash machine turns back on once football returns in 2021 and beyond.

Yeah, it would’ve saved everyone a whole lot of time and a world of headaches if the Big Ten had been more transparent from the start, but it didn’t.

It didn’t have to.

It’s the Big f-ing Ten.

With all of that said, however

You think this is bad? Try spending half your year researching and writing 54 previews for teams that aren’t going to play

I actually do get your frustration, Big Ten parents. Of course I do. We all want to see our kids live out their dreams, but no answer from the Big Ten powers-that-be would’ve changed anything or been satisfactory for you.

However, you’re not arguing hard enough for the thing you should be blasting the Big Ten for.

Okay, so many of you are, but this is a real issue that the players, fans, and parents have right.

They’re … still … practicing.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the Big Ten presidents made a call, and whether you agree with it or not, not playing in the fall of 2020 was what they felt was the responsible thing to do.

Don’t honk at them for that. Honk because they’re not allowing teams to play the games, and they’re STILL taking on risks. 

Pick a lane. Is football safe, or not?

Let’s cut the crap. The Big Ten isn’t “postponing” anything. It cancelled the 2020 fall college football season, and any part of this that comes later – like after Thanksgiving or in the spring – will be nothing more than a gimmicky money grab in an entity all its own until the 2021 campaign.

I do really think that the Big Ten’s grand-scheme-of-things heart was in the right place.

Everyone’s trying to figure this out, and absolutely no one in any capacity has a firm grip on what this virus really is and what we’re still in for. So if the Big Ten was simply taking a time out – from a liability side, as well as for the well-being of the players and coaches – so be it.

But why the practices?

I know, I know, these aren’t the all-in, Oklahoma drill-like practices with guys blasting into each other, and I know the concern was about the logistics and concerns about playing a contact sport, but if all the Big Ten teams were under the same protocols and standards – which was the whole reason for the conference-only schedule – then why can’t you figure out how to play each other?

Oh, by the way. All that stuff I ranted on before about the Big Ten being really rich? It can totally afford to test all the college football players, however, that would require some further hard realities to face. Which brings me to …

NEXT: To all the college football players. Let me help you …

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