Covid Runs The Big Ten
For a second it felt like 2020 was becoming normal again. It was a nice fall day, football was back and the Badger’s were hammering Illinois. It all seemed like a normal day, and within a matter of hours everything changed.
The news report came out after the game Badgers starting Quarterback Graham Mertz had a positive test for COVID-19. That was just the first snowball to roll down the hill before the Avancance. As the Badgers scrambled to test their players and staff, more and more cases were confirmed. The Badgers currently have 27 current cases according to their Twitter.
Not only is this detrimental to Badger football but for the Big Ten and college football in general. The Badgers have already had to cancel 2 games due to COVID-19. That’s huge when the Big Ten only has an 8 game schedule this year already.
The Big Ten is also not making any games up, which plays a pivotal role in determining the teams that make it to the conference championship game. To qualify for the championship game the team must have played at least 6 games. The Badgers have already missed two games, which means if they cancel next week’s game they cannot qualify.
Next week’s game is against the Michigan Wolverines. Who are no slouch as a team this year. However, The Badgers would be without all 27 players and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. The Big Tens rules have a 21 day quarantine period before the players and staff can return to action.
The Badgers who are currently ranked 10th in the nation by the AP are currently in a predicament. What they choose to do next will set an example for what the rest of college football will do if another team has an outbreak.
Other teams in the country have had Covid cases but each conference determines the rules regarding Covid and how to follow up. Heisman candidate Trevor Lawerence will not play the game versus Notre Dame due to ACC rules, but will only be out 14 days.
The Big Ten has been one of the more stricter conferences regarding Covid, being one of the last Power 5 conferences to bring back football. The Big Ten though still remains one of the premier leagues in college football and will most likely send a team to the College Football Playoff.
With Wiscosin competing to get into that prestigious tournament Covid could play a big piece in seeing not only what teams make it to the playoff, but if we even have a playoff at all. At this point college football is where all of us are at. Mask up and hope for the best.