Big Ten Football Announces Start of Conference Schedule

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The Big Ten Conference plans to play a 10-game, conference-only football schedule starting on September 3. This schedule includes much flexibility amid COVID-19 concerns, according to a league announcement on August 5.

Each team is given two open weeks, as the announced Big Ten schedule has four weeks built-in for rescheduling games. The schedule allows for Week 1 and Week 2 games to be moved to later in the season as needed.

The regular season is scheduled to end on November 21, with an open date for all teams provided for November 28. The Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled for December 5, with the ability to be moved back one to two weeks.

Michigan and Ohio State are scheduled to face off against each other on October 24. This is the first time since 1942 the storied rivals will not play their annual game at the end of the regular season. Interdivisional rivals Indiana and Purdue are scheduled to play on November 21.

In terms of medical protocols, the Big Ten announced there will be twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for players and staff. The league will use a third-party laboratory for centralized testing and “consistency in surveillance and pre-competition testing.”

On July 9, the Big Ten became the first conference in the FBS to reveal a general scheduling model. The league announced all of its fall sports, including football, would operate with a league-only schedule. However, the Big Ten held off announcing specifics for a football schedule as it continued to evaluate medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Maryland announced on August 5 that the university was planning to start the season without fans in attendance, but hopes to be able to welcome some fans to home games “as the season progresses and health conditions permit.”

 

 

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