The BIG TEN is back. In reversing their previous decision on cancelling the football season, the league’s presidents and chancellors cast a unanimous vote to resume competition. An increase in daily testing capabilities, confidence in recent information from medical personnel became the deciding factors in allowing them to go forward. The conference has stated the season which will start on October 24th will put the teams in an eight games in eight weeks schedule with no possibility of maneuvering around prior to a Championship Game on December 19th. Non-championship game teams will play an extra cross-division game by seeding from their standings position.
The season would be considered completed by December 20th which would make teams eligible for CFP Selection Day for the playoffs and bowl games. Games will be played on each team’s campus with no fans expected to be allowed. According to Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, we should expect to see a schedule this week.
The BIG TEN Conference was one of the first Power 5 conferences to call for the cancellation of all fall sports when they made their announcement back on August 11th with an 11-3 vote because of concerns about how the coronavirus pandemic stood at the time. League rules would have required at least a 60% vote to reverse the decision. They received a 100% vote instead.
Players will be subjected to daily testing and any positive test will force a player to be out of competition for 21 days as well as undergo comprehensive cardiac testing before being cleared to return to practice or play. This comes on the heels of seeing players in some of the major league sports test positive while falling victim to symptoms like myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Six BIG TEN teams were listed in the original AP preseason poll which included the likes of Ohio State at No. 2 and Penn State at No. 7.