The dominos are falling.
The Big Ten conference has announced that it’ll play a conference-only football schedule this fall.
That means the Miami Hurricanes won’t travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on September 26. And while no other changes have been made to Miami’s 2020 schedule yet, this ongoing domino effect is not good for the state of college football.
The Big Ten is the first Power 5 league to make such drastic changes to its fall football season, and it likely won’t be the last. The decision comes one day after the Ivy League placed all sports on hold until at least January, becoming the first Division I conference to cancel all fall sports competition this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hurricanes now have three non-conference games on the schedule, all at home, opening the season versus Temple on September 5, Wagner on September 12, and UAB on September 17. All of those games are unlikely to happen.
Miami is scheduled to open ACC play at home against Pittsburgh on October 3, following four consecutive weeks of non-conference games.
“I am aware of the announcement made by the Big 10 today,” Hurricanes athletic director Blake James said in a statement. “While we are disappointed to lose the opportunity to face Michigan State during the 2020 season, we will work with the ACC to best position our program for the upcoming season.”
While the Atlantic Coast Conference has not put out any statements regarding canceling nonconference games this fall, James told WQAM’s Joe Rose Show that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if UM plays only ACC games. Stadium also reported that the ACC is expected to play conference-only games.
ESPN reported that there was an “overwhelming support for a 10-game conference-only schedule” by Big Ten schools.
ACC commissioner John Swofford told Stadium that if the ACC played conference-only schedules, that they would assist Notre Dame –which has six ACC opponents — with as many games as it needs. A potential Miami-Notre Dame matchup in 2020 would be one for the ages, but there’s no word on if it’s a possibility yet. UM and ND are scheduled to play in 2024 and 2025.
The Miami-Michigan state game was scheduled to be the first of a two-game home-and-home series. The two teams are scheduled to meet on September 18, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium.
Other power five games canceled as a result of the Big Ten’s decision include Ohio State-Oregon, Michigan-Washington, Penn State-Virginia Tech, Iowa-Iowa State, and Wisconsin-Notre Dame.
As of now, the Hurricanes have continued to conduct voluntary workouts on campus since June 15 and plan on beginning mandatory football workouts on Monday, the first day of the NCAA’s six-week preseason practice plan.