Surprise Big 10 Returns: Where is the West?
To the surprise of no one, the college football's Big 10 Conference will start their season October 24th, reports ESPN. The conference took a beating from everyone from the Nebraska Attorney General to the President of the United States. Advanced rapid testing will being daily on all student athletes on all Big 10 campuses beginning September 30th. Players who test positive will have to wait 21 days before returning, and must be cleared by a cardiologist who will check for myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by COVID-19. Clearance for games and practice will be based on positivity rates for both the team and local population. If the team rate is higher than 5% or the local rate exceeds 7.5%, practice and games must be suspended for at least seven days.
The season is set to begin Oct. 24th with an eight-game schedule. The Big 10's move leaves only the Pac-12 as the only Power 5 Conference that will not play in the Fall. The conference announced that they've developed a proprietary test that is exclusive to the conference.
The challenge for the Pac 12 is that it will take over a month to train and implement the testing procedures. The best case scenario would be for the conference to play beginning in late November or early December. That last of a starting date would make it near impossible for the conference to take part in the college football playoff. The SEC, Big 12, and the ACC delayed the start of their seasons but appear to be confident that they will complete their seasons.