The BIG Ten Football Season Will Make a Return in 2020

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Katie Popp, Staff Reporter

While everyone is making the transition from summer to fall, many of our favorite sports are starting to come back. The NBA is just getting into the finals after being in a successful bubble for about 2 months, and the MLB is making their way into the postseason after a shortened season. The NFL has also got back into motion, already completing three weeks of the season. Then there’s college football. The college football league has many different conferences with a lot of different schools across the country. This means there is a high chance of spreading COVID-19 with student athletes being in school and on the field. Many conferences decided to come back and start playing, while others aren’t playing at all, or have postponed the season till a later date. The BIG Ten had initially decided to not have a season, but then a little over a month later they decided to have a season before the end of 2020. 

The BIG Ten in total has over 14 teams spreading mostly across the Midwest and parts of the Northeast, and are arguably one of the most popular college football conferences in the United States. In August, the BIG Ten originally decided to postpone the season, but this would later be revised in September when officials announced that the season will take place starting in late October and ending in early December. In an article by the NPR, they said that there is a lot of preparation going on before the season will resume. Just like in every sport there are daily tests on all players and coaching staff personnel. If there is an athlete who tests positive, they will not be allowed to play for 21 days which is about three games. The NPR also states that if the teams positivity rate exceeds 5% and the population positivity rate exceeds 7.5%, the team would have to stop playing for at least one week until the percentages improve. The conference wants to make sure that if there are any athletes or personnel who test positive, it will not affect the rest of the conference.

There are many flaws in this plan, however, ESPN says that the teams will attempt to play eight games in eight weeks meaning there is no wiggle room for games that are postponed. The conference championship is set to play on December 19th but if any team cannot play all eight games we may not even see a BIG Ten championship. They also cannot push the championship game back because December 20th is the college football playoff selection day, and because of that all conference champions must be decided by then. Since the conference is starting so late it really doesn’t give them a lot of time to get a season done, especially if COVID-19 is a factor.

So set your calendars for the weekend of October 23rd, because the BIG Ten conference will be back and playing. Whether or not they finish the season is still up in the air, but I guess we’ll just have to see how it all turns out.