The Big Ten's 2020 college football season has been canceled — at least for the fall. While the conference hopes to play a spring season, many obstacles make that plan a longshot. While we will hold out hope for some college football (this fall or in the spring), some players may not suit up in a Big Ten uniform again as they pursue the NFL Draft, a career outside of football or a potential transfer.
With the Big Ten announcement of a canceled season, our experts at Athlon Sports discuss which player they will miss watching the most this fall:
Big Ten Football: Which Player Will You Miss Watching the Most in 2020?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The Big Ten was well-stocked when it came to returning talent for 2020, but I’d give an edge to Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields over Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Fields was dynamic in his first (and maybe only?) year with the Buckeyes. The Georgia transfer threw for 3,273 yards and 41 touchdowns to only three picks and ran for another 484 yards and 10 scores on the ground. Fields was easily among the best players in college football and one of the frontrunners to win the Heisman Trophy. I’ll miss watching Fields’ all-around ability and playmaking skills, along with seeing if the junior quarterback could’ve led Ohio State to a national title in 2020.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
He had already opted out of playing but I'll still miss getting one last look at Micah Parsons in a Penn State uniform. A pretty safe bet to be a first-round pick next spring, Parsons is that rare defender who has the ability to impact a game any time he makes a play.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
It's really a shame that college football fans will effectively only get one season of Justin Fields. He was buried on the Georgia depth chart behind worse passers who helped lead the Dawgs to wins before Fields got a chance to establish himself, and he only got one season at Ohio State because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His star shined bright for his 14 games in Columbus, though, and even if he'll never win a Heisman, there's no doubt Fields will make an impact at the pro level before long.
Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB)
Penn State’s running game was to be a strength this season, and the rise of Journey Brown would have been fun to watch this fall. The running back had a breakout season in 2019 and he emerged as Penn State’s leading rusher. His performance in the Cotton Bowl was quite a display of talent and was hopefully to be a preview of things to come in 2020.
Brandon Cavanaugh (@eightlaces)
As of this writing, we're not positive what Nebraska will end up doing regarding fall football. Regardless, I'd have loved to watch Adrian Martinez go up against a full slate of Big Ten defenses.
Having a breakout freshman year followed up by a sophomore slump set up an intriguing storyline. Does he rebound and help Scott Frost's offense make the next big leap, or does he plateau — if not further regress — which results in Luke McCaffrey or even Logan Smothers grabbing the spotlight?
Martinez's third-year progression is a major question mark that I would enjoy seeing answered versus usual conference competition.
J.P. Scott (@TheJPScott)
I'll miss seeing Rashod Bateman of Minnesota this year. He and the Golden Gophers program as a whole were going to have the spotlight on them this season, with many asking whether or not 2019 was a fluke. We've been robbed of the answer to that question, as well as being able to watch one of the best receivers in the country play college football one last time.
Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich)
Ohio State QB Justin Fields is the player that I am going to miss the most this fall. Fields had a sensational 2019 season and looked to build upon it in 2020, and now will most likely declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.