Mark Schnabel: Some going forward, some waiting
“I’m rooting for you. We’re all in this together.” — Red Green
With COVID-19 still raging, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have put the kibosh on the fall sports season, as have the smaller Mid-America Conference.
The Big 12 announced Wednesday that it was going forward.
The SEC, ACC, American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Conference USA are still on, but as things go in this uncertain time, that could change.
A few schools in conferences that are going forward decided not to play.
Big Ten member Nebraska is looking at going forward this fall, possibly aligned with the Big 12.
On the home front, the KCAC and KSHSAA are proceeding to the start of practice — Saturday for the KCAC and Monday for the high schools.
The KCAC came up with a flexible plan that allows football games both this fall and in the spring. The NAIA, of which the KCAC is a member, moved the championships of the fall sports to the spring, but allowed its member conferences to make the decision to play the regular season in the fall.
Right or wrong? That call is way above my humble pay grade. It is a decision that should be made with the best interest of the athletes in mind. It is certainly not an easy decision. The potential of lost $$$, in the seven and eight figures for top schools and conferences, will definitely factor into these decisions.
My evil thought about the decision for the KCAC to proceed with the football season in the fall was that they were secretly hoping all of the NCAA would shut down, so the KCAC games on ESPN3 and YouTube would move to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
Bethel vs. Avila in Week 1 would make for a great TV match-up of nationally ranked teams.
The latest irresponsible and completely unsubstantiated rumor that I just made up is Nebraska will be looking at the KCAC for opponents to fill in its “wildcat” season. The Cornhuskers will be playing at Thresher Stadium Oct. xx.
It will be interesting to see how the move of some of these conferences to the spring will work out.
Spring is a dead time for spectator sports. The NBA and NHL wrap up. Baseball is in pre-season.
College spring sports are shown on TV, but usually at non-prime times and on smaller networks to smaller audiences.
That would give the Big Ten and Pac-12 a pretty big stage for its football programs. Play on Fridays and Sundays would be on the table.
Some spring ad-hoc bowls or playoff games could be held following the conference championship games.
The biggest point over all this is there is no normal until this pandemic gets under control.
Stay safe out there people.
Mark Schnabel is the sports editor for the Kansan.