Skull Session: Army and Navy Should Join the Big Ten, We're Going to Have to Get Creative to Have a Season, and Evan Pryor and TreVeyon Henderson Are a Hell of a One-Two Punch

By Kevin Harrish on July 14, 2020 at 4:59 am
We're missing autumn on campus in today's skull session.

Someone please buy me this sign and deliver it to Georgia.

Thank you.

Word of the Day: Commove.

 BRING IN THE TROOPS. With the Patriot League shuttering for the fall but letting the service academies play on, Army and Navy now find themselves effectively without a conference in a world where it looks like everyone is only going to play in-conference games across all sports.

The Big Ten should welcome them with open arms, for a variety of reasons.

The U.S. Military and Naval Academies will be free to pursue competition, according to the Patriot League’s announcement, due to the unique nature of the institutions. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren should take advantage and immediately offer Army and Navy affiliate membership in the conference for the fall (and longer if needed), as it would give the Big Ten a better chance to play on, specifically in non-revenue sports.

The Big Ten’s plans for a conference-only football schedule grabbed headlines, but the decision applies to all fall sports. Given the geographic sprawl of the league and the varying numbers of conference members playing each non-football sport, restricting schedules to league play will lead to financial and logistical challenges that, frankly, would eventually lead many to suggest shutting Olympic sports down entirely to avoid the headaches and focus on keeping the football money train on the tracks.

Adding Army and Navy would help alleviate those issues. The Big Ten would be bringing on two world-class institutions that have the ability to conduct adequate COVID-19 testing protocols. It would also be filling in key gaps inside its footprint.

I'm in, especially because this plan likely wouldn't apply to football since Army is Independent and Navy is in The American for football. So, you'd get all the perks of adding the service academies to the conference, without the pain in the ass of actually having to play the triple option twice a year. Interior linemen's' knees rejoice!

Your move, Mr. Warren.

 WE'RE GONNA GET CREATIVE. Pete Thamel held nothing back with his extremely bleak column yesterday bluntly titled Time to face reality: ‘No one is playing college football in the fall’.

For the most part, it was every bit as pessimistic as the title would lead you to believe, but omewhat ironically, it also included a quote from a TV exec that gave me a fresh perspective and new insight about how exactly we might play college football in the fall.

“What I have learned is that it’s not all or nothing,” said a television executive. “It’ll be push back, push back and maybe play four or six games in late fall. Then maybe decide to come back for another six in the spring. There’s a whole bunch of possibilities on the spectrum of getting a season in. People think it’s a binary, on or off situation. More than ever because of the money involved, they’re going to do whatever they possibly can to get in 10 football games between now and next September. That’s what it’s come to.”

College football is in deep trouble, but here's the thing – would you be fine with just losing 80 percent of your income without a fight? Because that's what Power Five conferences are facing right now. The reality is, there's too much at stake here. They're not going to cancel football without a fight, even if that means playing a game a month for the next nine months.

Another thing to consider: if this is indeed how the season plays out, it might make top players significantly less likely to sit out games in the spring if they're part of the same season that began in the fall, but simply got delayed. It would probably be a lot harder to leave a team that's 7-0 and on the verge of a national title in March than one that's just beginning its season.

There's a lot to consider, and everything's just a hypothetical right now. But everybody better buckle the hell up for these next few months, cause I have a feeling things are going to get wild.

 A BIG STEP. It's becoming quite clear that we can't expect every team to stay 100 percent coronavirus-free throughout an entire season. This means, if we're going to play the season, we're going to have to figure out what the hell to do when someone tests positive.

For the first time, it sounds like we're actually trying to get a uniform answer to that question.

I don't know if uniform testing and isolation procedures will be enough to save the season, but I know there's not a shot in hell the season's going to happen without them, so this seems like a step!

 ONE-TWO PUNCH. It's not exactly fair that Ohio State's future running game is going to be a one-two punch of Evan Pryor and TreVeyon Henderson.

I mean, look at this.

I'm beginning to think Ohio State is making the right move by bringing in two top-100 prospects at running back. Personally, I wish they'd have thought of this option a few years ago!

 MEANWHILE, UP NORTH... Let's check in on how the Leaders and the Best are handling quarantine.

Hey, at least it wasn't the notorious M00N game.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Piano Man" by Billy Joel

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