The Big Ten announced they’re moving to a conference-only schedule, and Tennessee Football and the SEC will likely follow.
The Big Ten announced on Thursday that they will move forward in a conference-only schedule for fall sports, including football. The report came from The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach.
This had been rumored to be coming, but it still comes as a surprise. Auerbach also reported that the PAC-12 is expected to follow the Big Ten in this move within the next few days.
That leaves only three Power 5 conferences remaining. The ACC, Big 12, and SEC are the three conferences that have yet to make an announcement in regards to the change in their schedule, but for the teams in those conferences with opponents in the Big Ten or PAC-12, their schedule is already being cut short without their conference making a decision.
This could be a tricky decision for the SEC and ACC because both conferences play eight conference games where the Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC-12 play nine conference games. If everyone goes to a conference-only schedule, will the NCAA step in to make sure everyone plays the same amount of games?
If not, even one loss for an SEC or ACC team could end their chances of getting a spot in the College Football Playoff.
At this point, with the Big Ten and the PAC-12 both expected to make their decisions official in the next few days, the momentum will be there for the other three Power 5 conferences to do the same.
This decision didn’t make too many fans happy either with the likelihood of there being no fans in the stadiums, fans at home won’t even get to enjoy a full season. Whoever makes it to the College Football Playoff Championship will still end up playing 12 games if they’re in the Big Ten, Big 12 or PAC-12, and eleven games if they’re in the ACC or SEC.
It will also be interesting to see how the NCAA addresses the schools who aren’t in a conference when it comes to college football. Notre Dame is the most notable program in that category and brings in a lot of money from TV revenue, so they might have to find an alternative this fall.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but the college football season is coming quickly, and we could see a shortened season for every conference.