Big Ten Cuts Non-Conference Schedule; What About WMU/Notre Dame?
A very murky college football picture for the 2020 season is, maybe, starting to take shape, but there are still more questions than answers, and with, whatever label we are choosing to put on this, the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, all this planning may be for naught.
I hate having to couch everything, but everything can change very fast. So here goes: ESPN is reporting the Big Ten Conference is dropping all non-conference games for 2020 (in fact, for all sports). Some years that would've have affected Western Michigan's football team, but not this year. The Broncos non-conference schedule includes non-Big Ten football powers Cincinnati, Syracuse and Stony Brook. And Notre Dame.
Yup, that's the big question mark. September 19th, Notre Dame Stadium. National TV. $1.2 Million dollar payday.
Here's some more to muddy the picture. The Pac-12 Conference is also eliminating non-conference games. (For ND, that's Stanford and USC.) And the ACC is talking about it. Notre Dame is in the ACC for everything but football, but has a lot of ACC schools on its schedule. And Notre Dame is a big paycheck for pretty much everyone playing them, thanks to NBC.
With no Big Ten and Pac-12 teams available, that might just strengthen WMU's position, as Notre Dame might need teams to fill out their schedule. It's hard to imagine the Mid American Conference cancelling non-conference games, as these are usually big paychecks for a conference that is not rolling in money, and budgets are even more stressed with the pandemic. The season is supposed to start in less than two months.