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Anchor Drop, September 13, 2020: The Big Ten Reconsiders

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Oh. Well, then.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Rutgers vs Michigan Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Well, this doesn’t make the Big Ten look good.

The Big Ten’s council of presidents and chancellors will meet Sunday to review the latest medical information and possibly vote again on when the fall football season can begin, sources told ESPN.

The medical subcommittee of the Big Ten’s return to competition task force met Saturday with a smaller group of eight presidents and chancellors, who pushed the process forward for a possible revote as early as Sunday.

Read the article, but the TL;DR here is that the Big Ten voted about a month ago to cancel the fall football season, was absolutely not prepared for the backlash that ensued, got yelled at by Donald Trump on Twitter, and a month later...

If the presidents vote to start the fall football season, the earliest time frame for kickoff would be mid-to-late October.

Ah, okay, so that’s still a fall football season.

We had this talk a while back in the comments on the Anchor Drop, and let’s just say that the Big Ten’s misplaying of this has continued. The SEC will open its season in two weeks; the Big Ten will now open its season in a month, when they could be opening sooner than that had they been practicing for the last few weeks.

It remains up for debate whether college football should be played at all this fall, though some leagues are going to go ahead and do it anyway. But while the Big Ten is claiming that it’s reconsidering because of new information, it’s not exactly clear what has changed over the last month that makes it worth reconsidering.

Except, of course, for the backlash to the initial decision not to play. My gut instinct tells me that the Big Ten (and Pac-12) expected the SEC to go along with them a month ago to provide cover, but the SEC was committed to playing as long as they weren’t the only ones, and the Big Ten was left unable to explain why, exactly, the SEC thought it safe enough to play and they didn’t.

Anyway, on to some Vanderbilt news... it seems that the decision not to allow fans until the end of October is controversial.

The response from fans of Vanderbilt athletics on Friday following the announcement that there would be no fans allowed to attend Commodore footballs at Vanderbilt Stadium in 2020 was almost predictable.

Fan apathy has been a growing trend on social media but it reached a new level in the wake of this announcement. Fans who have followed me personally, and been very active in their support and regularly comment on all things Commodore seem to be pulling the plug on Vanderbilt athletics.

It’s taken some 40 years to get here, but they have finally arrived.

I can’t say this was unexpected; as per usual, it seems the sentiment at Anchor of Gold is maybe not representative of the fan base at large, though I will point out here that we all saw the crowds at the Georgia and LSU games last year, and I’m sure that Vanderbilt brass did as well. As Greg correctly points out, at least some of this may be a fait accompli due to the Mayor’s office; the Titans won’t have fans in attendance until at least the end of September, and I’m sure Vanderbilt is subject to the same rules.

“I’m done, said one former Vanderbilt football player we spoke with who spoke under the condition of anonymity. “I will always support the athletes and want them to win and succeed, but unless and until there are drastic changes in how this university and athletic department treat fans and support the athletes with better facilities, I won’t be spending a single, solitary dime on anything. That includes the season tickets I’ve had since I graduated.”

Ah, so we’re back to this, again.

And finally, the Hustler has a spotlight on receiver Cam Johnson.

Actual Sports on TV

All times Central.

Here’s your MLB.TV schedule. Two free games today: Red Sox-Rays at 12:10 PM, Mets-Buffalo Blue Jays at 2:07 PM.

And here’s your SEC Network schedule. Lots of old football! No Finebaum!