The decision comes less than a week after the Big Ten football schedule, revised for the conference-only plan that had previously been announced, was rolled out. The league’s presidents ultimately made the decision to cancel things after a meeting on Monday night. Concerns stemming from COVID-19, including a condition called myocarditis, which causes inflammation of the heart, are among the major factors here. At least five Big Ten athletes have been diagnosed with the condition, per reports.
The Pac-12 will reportedly follow suit within the hour. The league often works in concert with the Big Ten on major moves like this, and has a press conference scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET.
With the MAC and Mountain West, and independent programs in UConn and UMass also cancelling the fall season, the number of FBS schools set to play in September is dwindling. The ACC, Big 12, and SEC may be the only Power Five leagues to play this season. According to Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey, a pair of SEC sources believe the league needs the Big 12 to “stay committed” to playing this fall.
Two SEC sources just told me the same thing seconds apart: “We need the Big 12 to stay committed.”
— Steven N. Godfrey Jr. (@38Godfrey) August 11, 2020
The ACC, Big 12, and SEC may all provide cover for each other trying to move forward with a season. If one decides to fold, however, it becomes a tough look for the others.
Things remain in serious flux in college football right now. At least one Big Ten football program, Nebraska, appears set to weigh its options for the fall. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have floated the idea of playing in the spring, though the feasibility of that is a major question, given its proximity to the 2021 fall season, NFL Draft, and other factors.