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#pounditThursday, May 6, 2021

Big Ten, Pac-12 reportedly planning to play conference-only football schedule

The Big Ten Conference is still planning on football games being played this fall, but teams will reportedly only be playing against other schools in their conference. The same could be true of the Pac-12 and other major conferences.

According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the Big Ten is expected to announce on Thursday that it will play a conference-only schedule this fall.

There has also been talk of delaying the start of the college football season, which could still happen. ESPN’s Heather Dinich and Mark Schlabach confirmed Auerbach’s report, noting that some Big Ten schools wanted to play one non-conference opponent to preserve marquee matchups. However, there has been “overwhelming support” for a 10-game, conference-only schedule.

Major conferences rely on football as a significant source of revenue, so canceling the football season would be a last resort. According to college football reporter Brian Fischer, the Pac-12 is expected to follow the Big Ten’s lead in the coming days.

The Ivy League announced on Wednesday that it is postponing sports for the fall, though we already explained why that does not necessarily mean other conferences will follow. Canceling or postponing the football season would be a last resort for Power 5 conferences, and it seems likely that they will all follow the Big Ten’s lead.


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