On the heels of the Ivy League suspending all fall sports, the Big Ten has opted to eliminate all of their 2020 non-conference games. Presumably, this will lead to a shortened season (maybe just 8-10 games?) with drastically reduced travel and hopefully a safer experience for everyone involved (not to mention more flexibility built into that schedule, in case there are any necessary delays due to COVID flare-ups).
This is obviously significant for the Washington Huskies because our first game of the season was to be hosting Michigan. I, for one, am glad the Big Ten did this. The whole point of scheduling a Home-And-Home series with a major national school like Michigan is to get eyeballs on the TV screen and asses in the seats. Washington’s home slate this year was pretty meager – with all the best conference games (Oregon, Utah, USC, Wazzu) all taking place on the road – so under normal circumstances, we REALLY could’ve used a massive sellout in the opener against the Wolverines. But, with COVID, there wasn’t going to be anyone in the stands for that game anyway (in all likelihood, there won’t be anyone in the stands for ANY of the games this year), so it would’ve been a total waste (on top of which, presumably when fans are allowed to resume going to games in 2021, only Michigan’s stadium will get the pleasure of a sellout against the Huskies in this 2-game series).
This way – I would hope – the Huskies can reschedule Michigan for 2022 or 2023 and take full advantage of the name recognition that comes with. Plus, by that time, I would hope things are more settled with the new coaching staff (and at the quarterback position), so not only will we see a financial boost, but the cache of playing Michigan (and BEATING Michigan) should drastically improve our standing in national rankings.
I would expect the Pac-12 will follow suit shortly. The longer this COVID thing drags out, the more people ignore the recommendations from the CDC, and the more spikes we see around the country, the worse it looks for professional and amateur sports in 2020. I had hoped by the time football season rolled around, we would’ve been in a better position to at least have games with a minimal number of people in the stands, but even that is looking like a bridge too far.
People are already starting to doubt there’s going to be any football whatsoever this fall. I can’t really blame you for feeling that way! It’s frankly pretty asinine how nonchalantly people are treating this thing. Even if you don’t believe COVID is a big deal – which, in the grand scheme of things, it probably isn’t – don’t you want things returning to some semblance of normal? Don’t you want to stop fighting the same fight about masks and social distancing? Don’t you want sports back, and your favorite businesses to stay IN business, and to keep your jobs? You might not give a shit about the elderly or the infirmed – and you’re well within your rights to be a bunch of irrational pricks – but in your own self-interests, don’t you want all of this to be over? So, why not play along? Why not condescend to all of us mask-wearing, social-distancing libtards out there for a while until we get a vaccine and are able to move the fuck on with our lives? Then, when it’s all over, I promise, you can crow to your heart’s delight about how right you were! When I get football back, you can cuss me out up, down, and sideways!