The return of fall sports has been a hot topic as of lately with the end of the Coronavirus nowhere in sight. What was once thought of as a time far enough out to be untouched by the pandemic has now been put in question with the continual rise in cases across the country. The NCAA has had to shift around many sports and even cancel the season of most Division II and III fall sports. Division I football has so far continued to find ways to adapt in order to maintain as much of a season as possible with many conferences adopting a conference-only season to limit the travel and exposure of their athletes. The Big Ten was the first to announce their plans to utilize this kind of format and have now made their football schedule public.
The schedule released by the conference was created with flexibility in mind with two bye weeks penciled in for each team. These bye weeks allow for the league to push back games when needed. In addition to the conference-only restrictions and built in bye weeks, the conference will also be requiring each of its athletes to take two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 each week. Commissioner Kevin Warren has made it clear that despite all of these protocols, a complete season still is not guaranteed (Source: Yahoo Sports). Rutgers, Northwestern, and Michigan State are currently unable to workout due to COVID breakouts and a total of five Big Ten teams have had to pause trainings over the summer at some point due to similar circumstances. Whether or not the season will really happen is still up in the air, but it is still exciting to see that there may be a chance.
Check out the full schedule here