Report: Big Ten Advised Schools 2020 Football Season May Not Be Played in Fall

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2020

The Big Ten logo decorates the grass at Beaver Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Penn State and Buffalo in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Barry Reeger/Associated Press

There reportedly may not be Big Ten football this fall.   

According to Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, the league has "advised" schools that there still might not be a football season during the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Forde noted the Big Ten plans on making a decision on whether it will start typical preseason camp within the next five days, adding "but with testing protocols in place that is the expectation."

He called it a "fluid situation."

The reality of college football is there is more than just a centralized body running the sport.

Unlike professional leagues with commissioners like the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB, there is a collection of conferences with their own schedules and teams to account for amid such a turbulent time.

On Thursday, the SEC announced it will play just conference games with a 10-game schedule that begins on Sept. 26. On Wednesday, the ACC announced a 10-plus-one model with 10 conference games and one nonconference game for each team.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten already announced they will play just conference games if the season happens, which eliminated marquee nonconference games such as Ohio State facing Oregon and Michigan playing Washington.

As for the Big Ten, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported the league is hoping for a nine- or 10-game season with just conference games starting Sept. 5. What's more, there may be three to five open dates for each team in case they have to quarantine for 10 or more days in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak.

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Such a plan may also front-load schedules with divisional contests, such as Ohio State against Michigan in the East and Wisconsin against Iowa in the West, because there is less travel involved in such contests.

That is, of course, if there is a season. Given Forde's report, that is far from guaranteed this fall.

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