By: Dave Collins, Sports Director
So, Division II schools are being mandated to cap their football schedules at 10 games. That's going to cause a lot of changes nationwide, and Chadron State must lop-off a contest from its current 11-game slate.
What a disappointment. A gut-punch to the slow-building positive momentum we've been seeing for college football to return.
It's understandable to a degree though, seeing as the NCAA is trying to help maintain competitive balance while primarily looking out for the financial health of smaller colleges in relation to travel costs and road trips amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
As expected, CSC Athletic Director Joel Smith confirmed the CSC road games at Missouri S&T and Western Oregon will be the first two considered for removal.
Keep in mind however, the RMAC hasn't done anything different with its league schedule in response to the pandemic situation yet. So, if something prevents an RMAC team from playing this fall, or the league makes a change like the NCAA and lowers the number of RMAC games that schools play, CSC could theoretically keep both non-conference match-ups. I doubt that will be the case, but as we've learned throughout this entire pandemic things change by the hour, and the "I-never-would-have-thought" scenarios have actually come true.
That also got me thinking, since it's now governors and local leadership making primary decisions on opening up the economy, what about the possibility certain states can't play football because of the pandemic?
If that's the case this fall and the sport is essentially forced to end up with inter-conference schedules to fill out a season things could be pretty exciting in Nebraska...
Chadron State could end up kicking-off a game against UNK... How exciting would that be to get arguably the Eagles biggest rival on the gridiron one more time?!
What about Wayne State? The Eagles would face former offensive coordinator Logan Masters who went back to his Alma mater in the off-season to help build the Wildcats program he was once a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist for.
Think that's impossible to see this fall? It's not.
I asked Smith about it, and he confirmed the idea of scheduling those two schools, or say, Doane College or Nebraska Wesleyan (NAIA schools) has been discussed if in-state games are needed.
Plenty of major restrictions would have to fall in line for that to actually happen. UNK and WSU play in conferences that only hold games within their league borders, so the MIAA or NSIC would have to be forced into a situation where their teams couldn't play only in-house, or a state within those conferences would have to ban schools from play due to the pandemic.
Could CSC play the Huskers?
I mean, at this point the desperation to get a season played is forcing athletic administrators and the NCAA to think way outside of the box, flex regulations, make emergency rulings, and may end up creating the craziest schedules we could ever see.