Big Ten is back, baby

Big Ten football fans are relieved to see their beloved teams play this season.

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Micah Parsons has racked up 84 solo tackles between the 2018-2019 seasons.

Mya Mooney, Staff Writer

The Big Ten is back and ready to fight. On September 16th 2020,the Big Ten Conference announced that the 2020 season is officially reinstated, and will be starting shortly. This came after the chancellors of each university that composes the Big Ten re-voted on starting the season. Prior to the re-voting, the 2020 season was looking grim, as on August 11th, the Big Ten was canceling all fall sports, including football, for the fall 2020 season due to Coronavirus fear. At the time this was quite the surprise as other major conferences such as the ACC and the SEC had no plans on canceling or postponing the 2020 season. If the Big Ten was to not have reinstated the season, the effects would take a massive hit on the universities and athletic staff. The Big Ten conference is home to the following schools: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, University of Michigan, Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska, University of Minnesota, Iowa, Maryland, Rugters, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Not having this football season would have a greatly hurt the budget of the schools, as a vast majority of the revenue is broadened each year through the purchase purchasing of tickets, stadium food, game day parking, and any official team merchandise. Having this season will help the schools financially, and help the players with increasing their draft stock.

 

The start of this unusual season will be on October 23-24, but the schedule for all big 10 teams has not been finalized or released. Big Ten fans can expect their teams to play at least 8 games, not including the Big Ten Championship which is still going to be played. Unlike former seasons, it will be conference games only, unless one of them makes it into the CFP, where they then could play out of conference. As of now, the Big Ten teams will still be eligible to make the playoffs, even with a shortened season. Fans and tailgating will also not be allowed, roaring stadiums who hold over 107,000 people on average, will be filled with silence except for what is being said on the field. Although fans will most likely not be allowed to attend any of the games this season, they may hold online tailgates, which Penn State football has already had. The environment of the stadiums will be very different for the players and the coaches, one of the hardest stadium to playing is at Beaver Stadium during a Penn State out, but no teams will have to deal with that type of environment this year. There will be completely new protocols and hopes to keep players safe, such as not allowing them to touch each other when celebrating and if they do have to wash their hands on the sideline or use hand sanitizer. Coaches and athletic staff will be required to wear face shields or masks during the whole game. Even without the fans physically attending the game, many have been showing their support of their favorite teams and players on social media.

Players from all over the Big Ten are ecstatic that they are having a season, some of them were afraid that they would drop in their draft stocks. It was crucial for the Big Ten to reinstate the season for many junior and fifth year seniors in hopes that they will get drafted and have a career in the NFL. Players such as Justin Field, starting quarterback at Ohio State, needed this season to happen to have more film that has shown his growth; he is expected to add to the draft as it is his junior year. In the 2020 draft, the Big Ten totaled 48 players drafted to the NFL, two of them being the second and third picks in the first round followed by another ten in both the first and second round. Some players have taken a different approach to the season now that it has been approved. Micah Parsons, a linebacker at Penn State, will be opting out of his junior season. Parsons is one of the most sought-after linebackers entering the 2021 draft, and is expected to go in the top 10 first round. Except Parsons will not be playing this season and has opted out even though the Big Ten is now playing, he did this for safety reasons as he has a two-year-old son and does not want to risk getting him sick or the rest of his family. He made this decision in the best interest of his family and those closest to him. Even with him opting out of the season, his stats from prior seasons will hopefully secure him a spot in the first round even if it is not in the top 10. Unlike Parsons, there are players who had originally opted out of the season believing that they would not have a 2020 season but now that it has been announced that they are having a season have chosen to come back to the team such as Ohio State’s Shaun Wade, who has originally opted out when the season outlook was unclear. Players from all teams have been making decisions based on what you think is best for them and fans will continue to see varying reactions to this season. This season will be shorter compared to other conferences in college football but the Big Ten being a power conference and having so many talented young athletes it should not be a problem for many of them entering the draft to get drafted.

 

Before the season was reinstated, schools such as University of Michigan were panicked, they could not afford to lose money due to not having a season. Last spring University of Michigan was already struggling, possibly losing up to $1 billion because of the pandemic, that amount would have only increased if they did not get to play. Their football season brings in roughly $122.3 million every year, which is needed to fund the departments yearly expenses. Without it, there is no net gain and they are losing money, resulting in people being fired. The Big Ten conference most likely considered how badly these schools would suffer if they did not have the football program playing this season. Not only will this hurt many of the players and quite possibly the futures but the schools’ future and athletic departments future as well. Penn State during the 2018 season made roughly $100 million in revenue out of the whole athletic department’s $165 revenue for that year. Meaning without Penn State football team the athletic department wouldn’t make very little and would not be able to sustain their programs. While the Big Ten football teams will not bring in as much revenue as normal, playing this season will still bring in enough revenue to keep programs afloat.

 

The bedtime decision to play the season was the best choice they could’ve made not only for the players but the schools as well. This season will be the most unique season that has ever been played in college football. The Big Ten will make a statement even though they are starting later than every other team. I hope to rise in the rankings in the national college football each week, hopefully one of them reaching the top. Although there is still uncertainty surrounding the season and surrounding which players will be returning in which will not, this season will go down in college football history.

*information regarding revenue for schools found at

https://www.witf.org/2020/04/07/penn-state-football-holds-a-local-economy-on-its-shoulders-what-happens-if-the-season-never-comes/ and https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bridgemi.com/business-watch/big-ten-may-cancel-michigan-football-ann-arbor-businesses-brace-worst%3famp