Michigan State football and the Big Ten are back

Spartan Nation, I asked that you have hope, and to keep your lucky rabbit’s foot nearby. All of that positive energy paid off. Michigan State football and the rest of the Big Ten are coming back. The official start date for games to get underway is Oct. 23.

Why did the chancellors and presidents elect to allow games to proceed? Two major factors played heavily into the decision; 1) new medical information and 2) testing protocols. Each student-athlete, coach, trainer and other individuals involved with the team will undergo a daily antigen testing. If a player tests positive for COVID-19, he will be subjected to extensive cardiac testing and held out of games and practices for 21 days.

If a team’s positivity rate reaches 2%, the team will have to alter practices and meetings. If that rate reaches 5%, the team will be held from practices and upcoming games. First-year Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker stated in an interview, “From daily antigen testing for all our players, coaches and staff, to extensive cardiac protocols and protection, the Big Ten Conference and Michigan State are leading a charge to put our players on the field safely and competitively.”

After several Power 5 teams played their first week of games, there are some positive signs for the Big Ten. Some teams experienced clusters of infections, but thus far, the rates haven’t risen to levels that would preclude future games. The NCAA is using similar precautions and protocols as the NFL. Those standards prevented any positive tests for players and staff after the Sept. 10 game between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs being first game to receive tests back, all tests came back negative.

Tucker said the Spartans have been “relentlessly training in our strength and conditioning program, and will be ready to compete.” Come the weekend of Oct. 23, the Spartans should be conditioned and ready to take the gridiron.

This year has been very bizarre. Right now, a bit of normalcy and continuity is just what people need. Is there anything better than Spartan football in the heart of fall to make things seem normal? I am excited to see what this season has in store for the Spartans and Tucker’s inaugural year. Go Green. Go White.