When the announcement was made in 2019 that Nebraska and Illinois would be kicking off the 2021 college football season with a Week 0 game in Dublin, Ireland, there was a lot of excitement about the opportunity. But in a world where COVID-19 is still a threat, there’s less optimism about the event.

Sean Callahan of HuskersOnline.com reported this week that there appears to be growing doubt regarding the trip to Dublin for the Nebraska-Illinois season opener in August. No official decision has been announced yet, though Callahan says that sources are pessimistic about the game being played in Ireland.

The trip to Ireland would allow a great experience for players, coaches, fans and everyone involved. But, unfortunately, that opportunity may not come — at least not in 2021.

If the game is canceled in Ireland, it brings into question what the two teams would decide to do for their annual matchup. Nebraska and Illinois could still play a Week 0 game and get most of the national audience tuned in for more exposure. Or they could play the game at a later date.

The Fighting Illini surrendered a true home game for the trip to Ireland, so one option would be to play the game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. The other possibility would to play at a neutral site location, though it’s unclear if that would be a possibility.

More news on the status of the game in Ireland should be filtering sometime soon.