Big Ten Reportedly Discussing Plan to Start CFB Season in Late November

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, the Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Miami of Ohio in Iowa City, Iowa. The Big Ten released its 10-game conference-only football schedule beginning as early as Labor Day weekend but cautioned there is no certainty games will be played. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

After previously postponing all fall sports until at least the end of the year, the Big Ten is reportedly considering a football schedule that would begin in late November. 

Per Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Big Ten leaders are looking into the possibility of a schedule "of at least eight games" that would start Thanksgiving week. 

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic confirmed Potrykus' report but added a "January-ish" start date remains the focus.

According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Big Ten coaches and athletic directors are exploring various potential start dates, including around Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, mid-January or after Super Bowl LV. 

Bruce Feldman of FS1 and The Athletic noted conference coaches were meeting on a call and "it's a real possibility" the Big Ten attempts to reverse its initial decision and plays football in the fall. 

The Big Ten's current discussions about the 2020 season come in the aftermath of recent developments involving parents of football players and a group of Nebraska players filing a lawsuit against the conference. 

Per USA Today's Erick Smith, the lawsuit seeks to reverse the Big Ten's decision to postpone the season and receive clarity on how the conference arrived at that decision: 

"Even though its decision significantly and directly affects the rights and opportunities of student athletes at its member institutions, the Big Ten has rejected calls for transparency and refuses to provide documents supporting its claim that a vote was taken or that a proper process was followed. As a result of the failure of process, the Student Athlete Plaintiffs have been irreparably harmed."

Per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, a "large majority of Big Ten parent associations" sent an open letter to conference leaders with the hope of having a "structured discussion" with commissioner Kevin Warren. 

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are the only Power Five conferences that have announced fall sports will be postponed until at least the start of 2021. 

Six days prior to the Big Ten's Aug. 11 announcement, the conference released a revised conference-only schedule that would have started on Sept. 5.

Teams would have played 10 games in 12 weeks, followed by the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.