Is this for real (this time)?
I think I’m confused. First, I posted on August 5 that PSU would be playing a ten game all Big Ten Schedule, starting on September 5. On August 6 I added that Pennsy Governor Tom Wolfe had limited outdoor gatherings to 250 people, hence there would be no fans in the stands for that season that, oh by the way, did not start on September 5. (Since that time, a court has found Wolfe’s order to be unconstitutional, which is good because two collegiate teams plus all the coaches, trainers, and other putzes they bring along to a game total more than 250, but I digress). Then on August 10 I wrote that the presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten had voted 12-2 to shitcan the football season completely. Are you following along here? I know it’s getting complicated.
The following day, I confirmed that the football season “now appears to be irrevocably cancelled”. We all believed at that point and through the end of August that there would be no football season for the Big Ten, at least not before winter. However, at that point desperate people were making noise about a spring season, or even a snowy January start. Not wanting to believe the crap I was reading after having been through all the gyrations of August, I mused on August 29, “Everything is so up in the air that today’s speculation is tomorrow’s toilet paper…”
Typically, my cynicism knows no bounds. However, the Big Ten was making my former, cynical self look like Rebecca of Sunnibrook Farm.
Are you ready for this?
Wait! Not so fast! Now, the big news today, rumored since Sunday because you can’t keep a lid on anything in the Big Ten, is that there will be a season starting on October 23. Just how it came about is anybody’s guess. Lots of shit was taking place behind the scenes, to wit:
- Players wanted to play
- Parents wanted players to play
- Coaches wanted to play
- Fans wanted to play, or at least get season ticket refunds
- Donald Trump wanted to play
- Presidents and chancellors feared Covid-19 lawsuits
- Kevin Warren was brand new and didn’t know what to think
Our girl Sandy Barbour belongs to committee of Big Ten bigwigs who were tasked with the notion of returning to competition.
So, without further ado, the Big Ten speaks.
Enter the Chief Infection Officer
This will be a data driven thing, apparently. They’re going to monitor infections closely and take stringent medical precautions, including daily antigen screening. So called student-athletes, trainers, coaches, and other putzes who hang out on the sidelines who test positive through the point of contact test would require further testing to confirm the result.
Comprehensive cardiac testing and data collection will be a significant part of the testing protocol. If anyone tests positive, they’ll have to run the gantlet through Cardiac Canyon.
Each school will need to appoint — I cracked up at this — a “Chief Infection Officer.” The abbreviated acronym used in the story was CInO, pronounced (I guess) “see-in-oh”. If you have the sniffles, you must consult with the CInO.
The official announcement goes on to describe medical criteria for halting practice and competition: when and for how long.
The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.
What about the damn schedule, already?
Thus far, we haven’t seen a formal presentation of individual team schedules. Conceptually, though, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez stated that the Fablungeta Committee had come up with four different models, and what was chosen was an eight game schedule starting the last week in October, with a ninth, so-called champions week where teams in each division play their equally ranked counterpart in the other division. Called a “Plus One” week, this means there is a nine-game schedule. (What a wonderful Week Nine game we’ll see with Rutgers squaring off against Illinois).