Though the Big Ten drew most of the credit (or blame), it was actually the MAC who became the first FBS conference to postpone its football season, back on Aug. 8.
Now, on Sept. 17, they are the 10th of 10 conferences to signal their interest to play this fall.
Time will tell whether or not they’re the last to take the field but, following the Big Ten’s announcement on Wednesday, the MAC has now joined the Pac-12 and the Mountain West in following suit — or at least attempting to.
According to the Toledo Blade, movement is stirring behind the scenes toward returning to the field sooner than later.
According to a MAC source, the proposed fall schedule would be six or eight games beginning Oct. 24, with no fans allowed and a championship game still at Ford Field in Detroit, its normal home.
The tale here is similar to other leagues, public pressure (specifically from players) coupled with the promise of advanced rapid testing reaching its 12 campuses, thereby making football more feasible (and affordable) than it appeared six weeks ago.
Adding to the pressure: the MAC can’t be the only FBS league not playing this fall.
“We don’t have a choice,” a source told the Blade. “The optics of being the only league not playing would be incredibly negative.”
Again, this is a long way from a full confirmation that the MAC will indeed play this fall — commissioner Jon Steinbrecher released a statement just 24 hours ago saying the league was still looking at a February start.
But, just six weeks after it seemed possible that no one would play this fall, it’s now more likely than not that we’re just six weeks away from everyone playing this fall.
What a time to be alive.