The Big Ten conference leaders, chancellors, and presidents have voted to resume the 2020 football season. The season will begin the weekend of October 23-24. The decision comes after the Big Ten postponed the season back on August 11.
Each Big Ten team will play eight regular season games, beginning either October 23 or 24. The Big Ten Championship will be December 19 with the College Football Playoff teams announced the following day.
In addition, each team that doesn’t play in the championship game will play a ninth game against a crossover opponent. For example, the second place team in the East division will play the second place team in the West division. Each team will play a total of nine games.
The Big Ten was hesitant from day one how COVID-19 testing would be done and the potential long-term health affects on student athletes. The Big Ten announced that athletes and coaches would go under daily antigen testing. The entire Big Ten release can be read here.
Per the Big Ten press release: “The Big Ten will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test”. The conference also announced if the athlete is confirmed to have COVID-19, they will be out of competition for 21 days.
What This Means for Everyone
This is a great day for Big Ten schools, athletes, coaches, and fans. While there won’t be fans in the stands, we will have the opportunity to watch our favorite teams on Saturdays in the fall. I commend the Big Ten for taking the time to think about the athletes. The athletes have been vocal on social media since the season was postponed. They deserve the chance to play to begin their careers the right way or end their careers the right way. The season is now just around the corner and I can’t wait!