The Big Ten Conference has reportedly made a decision on the 2020 college football season.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, the Big Ten is expected to announce that it will be playing a conference-only schedule this fall.
The Big Ten will be the first conference to make such a decision. This would eliminate all non-conference games from the schedule, including massive contests like Ohio State vs. Oregon, which was scheduled for early September.
“The Big Ten is expected to announce today that it will go with a conference-only football schedule for this fall, a person with direct knowledge situation tells The Athletic,” she reports.
The Big Ten is expected to announce today that it will go with a conference-only football schedule for this fall, a person with direct knowledge situation tells @TheAthleticCFB.
— Nicole Auerbach 😷 (@NicoleAuerbach) July 9, 2020
The Big Ten could play a nine or 10-game regular season among conference teams. It will not be surprising if other conferences follow suit.
ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum previously thought the sport’s “best-case” scenario was to wait another month or so before making a decision.
I think probably the best case is to put off any important decisions for three to four weeks. … I think they’ll keep pushing, keep moving the invisible deadline to where, if the country is still in a freefall in a couple of weeks, then I don’t think they’ll have much choice but to then say, ‘We can’t do it at all’ or ‘We’re going to pause here and give it a few more weeks and maybe start in mid-September or late September,” he told the Charlotte Observer.
Going to a conference-only schedule could allow leagues to have more time to make respective decisions on playing or not-playing.
A conference like the Big Ten could play nine or 10 regular season games from October through December. This would give the league more time to get a handle on the pandemic and its protocols.
Stay tuned for an official announcement.