"The Stack" 8-11-20

The College Football season hangs in the balance as things continue to change on an almost hourly basis. We await the Big Ten and Pac-12's decision which could ultimately define where this season is going.

The Stack is back on this Tuesday and we actually will have a couple of different blog posts for you today. One is dealing with the big, big story involving college football and the upcoming season or lack there of. The other will be previewing the NHL Playoffs that officially start tonight after the Qualifying Round completed on Sunday. So let’s get right to it and see what is in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, August 11th:

College Football season on the brink

So what exactly in the hell is going on with college football? Will there be a season or will there not be? The Power 5 conferences and schools clearly aren’t all on the same page. The Big Ten is likely postponing at best their season with either the possibility of moving it to the spring or cancelling it altogether. This comes on the heels of the MAC cancelling the football season on Saturday with the Mountain West postponing football and all fall sports on Monday. Monday saw several different reports about the Big Ten and what they are going to do. If the voting is anything like what will be done today, it sounds like Iowa and Nebraska still want to proceed with the season while the other schools don’t. If the Big Ten chooses to postpone the season, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has already said that the Huskers will look at their options because they want to play. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has said that Michigan feels safe enough and that they want to play. So just what in the hell is going on?

The simple answer is that nobody knows. The ACC seems intent on playing this fall as does the SEC. We haven’t heard from the Pac-12 or the Big 12 yet, but we will soon. The fact that the Power 5 can’t get on the same page with what to do screams to the lack of leadership either within the conferences themselves or the NCAA and president Mark Emmert. At this point, it almost feels like the Power 5 is ready to just give the middle finger to the NCAA and proceed with whatever way they want, but they need to be on a unified front and right now, that is not the case. Division II and Division III schools have postponed or cancelled all fall sports. The FCS is trying to move their football season to the spring. We’ll see if that actually happens or not. All eyes are on the big boys and the Big Ten is leading the charge on postponing the season to the spring or cancelling altogether. That seems like it’s the right decision, but it will be very difficult to pull off moving football to the spring and it doesn’t sound like there is a consensus on what the plan is. That is bad.

Then there are the players themselves. A group of players led by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields have gone out on social media saying that they want to play and to let them play. On one hand, they are right. If they want to risk their lives, they should be allowed to, but they are also young and bullheaded. They need someone looking out for their long term health and schools don’t want to be held liable if something were to happen a few years down the line. That would be millions if not billions of dollars in lawsuits. The players do bring up good points about it potentially being safer than being sent back to their home communities. They need representation and it sounds like a players association being formed could happen not too far down the road. I would love to have college football play this fall as would millions of other people. If we didn’t have a bunch of selfish people who I and many others disagree with out there who feel like wearing a mask is an infringement upon their constitutional rights and they think that COVID-19 is some sort of hoax, maybe the United States would be on the right side of combating this virus and it would be safer to play sports and we would deserve for sports to be brought back to us for our enjoyment. Sadly, that is not the case in many parts of the country. If the brink of the college football season happening or not is what will finally get people to open their eyes and start doing the right thing that would be great. Unfortunately, not even the people within the university and college system quite know what the right thing to do is. And until they do and can figure out what would need to be done to pull off moving the season to the spring, if that is even possible, we are going to continue to see a lot of varying opinions and decisions from the most powerful conferences in the game. There is definitely more to come on this developing story as information seems to be changing constantly. Stay tuned.

Rangers win number one pick in Phase 2 of NHL Lottery

Monday night was the big night to find out who would get the number one pick in the NHL Draft and the all but certain rights to draft Canadian prospect Alexis Lafreniere who may be just as good as Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid eventually. That is high praise. The number one pick in the draft was down to the eight teams that lost in the NHL’s Qualifying Round (Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild & Winnipeg Jets). Sure was hoping that the Wild could somehow end up with the pick, but alas it was not meant to be. The Rangers got the number one pick and will most definitely take Lafreniere. The Rangers are in rebuilding mode, but Lafreniere will definitely aide in them getting back to the playoffs and prominence sooner versus later. The Wild will draft ninth and the other teams will be decided based on their point totals from the regular season. It was fun to hope while it lasted. Rangers fans should be ecstatic today!

Coming up later: NHL Playoff preview