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September 16, 2020

Big Ten football rises from the grave like that Undertaker meme everyone likes (you know the one)

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Michael Hickey

It’s election season here in America—a time of waffling, wavering, and, of course, flipping and flopping. A four-year zenith of vagaries and generalizations, hedged bets and reneged promises. It’s that time of the year when everything costs more than face value and nothing comes served without a grain of salt. And we’re not even talking about politics. We’re talking about Big Ten football,

Over a month after the Big Ten cancelled fall football a week after they announced fall football, fall football is reportedly back on the menu for the Rust Belt Ivy League Belt (and Rutgers, which is rusty enough). On Tuesday night, hours after Nebraska president Ted Carter was caught on a hot mic all but confirming a return to play plan, conference leaders gathered for a vote. If reports are to be believed (remember that grain of salt thing), it was a slam dunk:

We now go live to Big Ten HQ, where press conference rehearsals are well underway.

All joking aside, the Big Ten couldn’t have got this more wrong. According to reports, the success of rapid testing in the NFL, which the Big Ten will adopt, played a big role in the reversal, but the other reasons aren’t nearly as logical. Fan pressure, political pressure, $100 bills raining from the gray October skies. Even the idea that college football has begun successfully in other places, paving the way for the Big Ten, is almost completely wrong. Texas Tech has recorded over 75 positive COVID-19 cases amongst their football team and staff. Coach O admitted that “most of” the LSU players have already caught it. There’s been scheduling shuffling, uneven protocols, and pretty uncompelling on-the-field product. If this is what was giving the Big Ten FOMO, maybe they should have stuck to their guns.

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From a fan’s perspective, however, this is a gimme. We will 1000% take more college football, even if late October is a stretch. Give us Beth Mowins calling Purdue-Indiana with the West-Lafayette leaves ablaze. Give us the first snow game of the season. Give us a swirlie in the Old Oaken Bucket and, most of all, give Nebraska a reason to stop f—king whining. That alone will be worth it.