The Big Ten announced Monday that teams unable to play games due to COVID-19 will be forced to forfeit:
Games will not be rescheduled, resulting in a loss for the team responsible and a win for the opposing team.
If both teams are unable to play, the game will count as a no-contest.
The policy is in line with other Power Five conferences for the upcoming year, as the Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 have all announced there would be forfeits if a team is unable to play because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The ACC policy differs slightly from the Big Ten's in that both teams will be charged a forfeit and a loss if they are each unable to play due to outbreaks.
There could be a similar policy in the SEC, but commissioner Greg Sankey said the league might not have an official announcement until the day before college football season begins, per Josh Kendall of The Athletic.
The pandemic upended the 2020 college football season. The Big Ten played an eight-game season after an initial postponement, with outbreaks leading to cancelations and no rescheduling.
Ohio State appeared in only five regular-season games, which nearly affected its postseason hopes despite its undefeated record. The Big Ten had to amend its initial policy requiring a minimum of six games played for inclusion in the conference title game.
Thanks to the new policy, all games in 2021 will have a result in the record books unless both teams are unable to field a roster.