The voters have spoken, and they believe the Pac-12 made the right decision regarding fall football — but just barely.
Last week the Pac-12 made the decision to cancel all fall athletic competition, including football, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 is one of two Power 5 conferences, along with the Big Ten, that chose to cancel fall football. Meanwhile, the Big 12, SEC and ACC are planning on playing this fall.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on whether they thought the Pac-12 made the right decision in canceling fall football.
POLL: Do you think the Pac-12 made the right decision in canceling its fall football season due to coronavirus concerns? Full context, including a look at what all the Power Five conferences are doing, here: https://t.co/H2mD6009uu
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) August 17, 2020
When adding together the votes in the Twitter poll and the blog poll, the majority of voters said the Pac-12 made the right call. However, the margin of victory was not large — 56% to 44%. And on the blog the “No” votes actually out-polled the “Yes” votes 51% to 49%.
So public safety won out over entertainment, but not by much.
Indeed, the whole college football landscape is in something of a state of chaos.
In the Big Ten, a petition was started by Ohio State quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields to reinstate Big Ten football. As of Thursday morning it had more than 289,000 signatures. In addition, a group of parents of Big Ten players are calling for a reversal in the league’s decision.
However, we’ve seen the reopening of colleges to in-person instruction result in large outbreaks of COVID-19 infection. North Carolina was forced to change course when 130 students tested positive for COVID-19 during the first week of classes, and the university is switching to remote learning. Michigan State, which is in the Big Ten, and Notre Dame have followed suit after suffering breakouts on their campuses.
Back in the spring, athletic conference officials were saying football wouldn’t be played if students weren’t on campus for classes. However, in the wake of outbreaks on campus, officials are changing their tunes about classes needing to be in session for in-person learning in order for football to occur.
Add it all up and it’s something of a wild, wild west show.
The Pac-12 and Big Ten are exploring the possibility of playing football in the spring. Meanwhile, the Big 12, SEC and ACC are scheduled to begin play on Sept. 26.
A lot can happen between now and then, especially with a virus that the Centers for Disease Control reports having caused more than 171,000 deaths in the U.S. through Wednesday. College football is off in the Pac-12 this fall, it’s still on in other parts of the country. We’ll see if that’s still the case a month from now.