Shannon Ryan: The Big Ten kicked off its long-awaited football season — but nothing about it felt the same

MADISON, Wis. — Inside and outside Camp Randall Stadium, the senses of the college football season were gone.Usually on Saturday afternoons, walking down State Street is like navigating herds of Times Square pedestrian traffic.But for Friday night’s long-awaited Big Ten season opener between Wisconsin and Illinois, small groups of college students, bundled up against chilly weather, tried to make the most of it — but the mass of people who usually descend upon Madison, Wis., were absent.Even the smell of grilled bratwurst in stadium parking lot tailgates was noticeably gone.A pre-pandemic digi…

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