Nothing is set in stone yet for Michigan football and others, but the winds of change are howling in many directions as the time to make a decision nears.
It’s a week into July and the non-stop conversation of opening the Michigan football season, as well as college football in general, on time is charging full steam ahead.
University and conference leaders have the unenviable task to let the student-athletes resume back to the sport aware of the health risk concerns. The dubious decision is bound to ruffle feathers no matter what the ultimate outcome is.
With the virus raging out of control and not everyone willing to do their part to slow it down, it’s becoming likely that the game will surely be surreal in many aspects this year. Fans may have to watch from home, only necessary personnel might be allowed on the sidelines or press boxes, perhaps no media either. If things don’t change drastically in the meantime then it could be like performing backyard football in mammoth, noiseless stadiums.
Reports surrounding the Ivy League are that of postponement for all fall sports. They’d likely be pushed back to the spring assuming there is a vaccine by then. Of course, the Ivy League is FCS in football, so the FBS will be following with a keen eye the ripple effects of the reactions towards the anticipated announcement. However, when their basketball tournament was canceled in March, sporting events seemingly everywhere mirrored the same exact fate.
Rumors are spreading that first games of the season for Michigan football, against Washington and Arkansas State, may have already been dissolved, but nothing is official as of this present day.
Considering the fact that those conditions shakedown that way, it would conceivably open the schedule up for another cupcake to throw-in at the last second or just stick with a shortened lineup. The longest trip would then be to Minneapolis or New Brunswick depending upon how things turn out.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway echoed the sentiments of suiting up in the fall as expected or shifting the focus towards the spring. The proposal appears to be gaining some momentum as each day passes. He also stated that the Big Ten should have an idea with what they plan on partaking in over these following two weeks. Online schooling and isolating teams on a daily basis might have to suffice just to get through the fall, although that’s a pricey proposition to factor in.
Spring ball would definitely take a whole new meaning if the events were sorted out as such. The weather could be the opposite of the fall, while everything else may feel uncommonly awkward.
What that means for the 2021 Michigan football season is anybody’s guess. The utter uncertainty of anything these days is very concerning until it finally returns for good.