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The Big Ten conference recently announced that all non-conference games will be canceled on account of the coronavirus pandemic. The season will now span nine games instead of 12 with the option to add a 10th in-conference game to the teams schedules. Although this decision was for the better, it does bring bad omens for the Michigan football team.

First and foremost, Michigan loses three games off their schedule: at Washington, vs. Ball State and vs. Arkansas State.

I think it’s fair to say that Michigan would’ve won both of the home games listed above so not much thought will go into those two but the Washington game being canceled undoubtedly has a far bigger effect on the season as a whole.

For starters, Michigan loses what could have been a quality win to put on their resume. Especially considering that Washington would’ve been hovering around the top 25 for most of the season and plays host to one of the best college stadium atmospheres in the country. A Michigan-Washington matchup would’ve been one of the biggest games in the country to kick of college football. The teams are still set to play the following year in Ann Arbor.

The biggest problem with non-conference games being canceled is now whoever takes over the starting QB job, whether that be Joe Milton or Dylan McCaffery, will have to perform right away on the big stage.

The first two games that the first-year starter will play in will be versus Wisconsin and Penn State.

Although both of these games are at home there will either be reduced capacity or no fans at all so the big house atmosphere won’t factor in. There will be no time to grow up for Michigan’s new signal caller, he’ll have to be prepared and ready to go from the first snap if Michigan wants to avoid losing 4-5 games this year.

Photo: USA TODAY Sports