Notre Dame is putting this weekend’s game with Wake Forest on hold due to an outbreak.
The University of Houston, for the fourth time already, is facing another open weekend because of the virus.
Some people shake their head at college football’s attempt to turn this into a somewhat normal fall, minus the throng of fans, of course. But unless you’ve lived in places like Columbus, Ohio, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Lincoln, Nebraska, you may not understand what college football means to those communities.
We don’t feel it in Champaign and Central Illinois the way it’s felt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, or State College, Pennsylvania. Never have, never will.
But as we gear up for Big Ten football openers on the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24, it was no coincidence that Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa were the dissenting voices when the Big Ten initially voted 11-3 in favor of not playing football in the fall.
And it was no coincidence that Ohio State pushed harder than any other conference member to get the university presidents and chancellors to change course and, ultimately, vote to begin play in October.
To summon a word that has been used frequently in the last several months, college football is deemed “essential” in those communities. And they’re dead serious to describe it that way,