The Big Ten Conference will not play football games in 2020. According to the Detroit Free Press, the conference decided to call off the football season after a vote from the university presidents. The final vote was 12-2 on Sunday to end fall sports in the conference. Iowa and Nebraska were the two schools that elected to play.
"The Big Ten has voted to cancel the 2020 college football season in a historic move that stems from concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple people with knowledge of the decision confirmed to the Free Press," the report stated. This move comes after the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences having an emergency meeting on Sunday night to discuss the 2020 season. The teams from the Big Ten Conference may have games in the spring. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told the Free Press on Saturday he would prefer a spring season, but no decision has been made.
The Big Ten Conference is expected to announce on Tuesday and wants the other Power 5 conferences (Pac-12, Big 12, ACC and SEC) to follow in its footsteps. This decision was made just days after the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announcing its postponement of fall sports, making it the first conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), to call off football.
"The decision is grounded in the core values of the Conference that prioritize student-athlete well-being, an area the MAC has traditionally taken a leadership role," MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. "Clearly, we are charting a conservative path – and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete. Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence."
With other sports returning this summer, the thought was college football and other college sports would return as well. However, with the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, conferences like the Big Ten and MAC are playing it safe for the time being. The good news is if college football is completely postponed or canceled, it's likely the NFL could play games on Saturdays to fill the void.