The Big Ten dropped its schedule for the 2020 football season this morning, giving each member 10 games and two bye weeks across three months of games:
The football schedule starts as early as the weekend of Sept. 5 with final games slated for Nov. 21 to align with academic calendars. The Big Ten Football Championship Game remains scheduled for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium, though it could be moved as late as Dec. 19. pic.twitter.com/vWp3OSifBc— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) August 5, 2020
Iowa starts the year at home against Maryland on Sept. 5, while traveling to Purdue the following week.
Its next four games are at Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern at home, and at Illinois before taking a break the week of Oct. 17.
Iowa then gets Penn State away and Michigan State at home before taking another break.
The season concludes with Wisconsin at home and finally, traveling to Columbus to take on Ohio State, because everyone was sick of seeing Michigan lose to OSU to end the season.
Further details on how the season will be played:
- The plan is for Big Ten institutions to play a 10-game Conference-only schedule including the nine current opponents and one additional cross-division game
- The schedule starts as early as the weekend of Sept. 5 with final games slated for Nov. 21 to align with academic calendars
- The 10 games would be played over at least 12 weeks with each team having two open dates
- The schedule is structured to maximize flexibility:
- Games can be collapsed into bye weeks
- Uniform bye week on Nov. 28
- Cross-division games are currently scheduled for all schools in Week 1 (Sept. 5) and Week 12 (Nov. 21)
- Schedule constructed in a way that allows season to start as early as the weekend of Sept. 5, but also provides the ability to move the start of the season back to Sept. 12, 19 or 26 through strategic sequencing that allows games to be moved to a latter part of the schedule
- Big Ten Football Championship Game remains scheduled for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, though it could be moved as late as Dec. 19
- Teams can begin preseason practices on Friday, Aug. 7, or earlier if permitted under NCAA guidelines related to first dates of scheduled competition
Full medical protocol guidelines are on the Big Ten site.
So, Iowa loses a Friday night game to Minnesota, and its cherry on the Sundae game against Nebraska, but overall, picking up Ohio State and Michigan State feels kinda good, even though Iowa’s schedule feels incredibly bottom-heavy with Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State being its final four games.
Still, we’re smelling roses.
UPDATE: Gary Barta and Kirk Ferentz released statements on the scheduling:
We continue to face uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and others associated with our sports programs remains our number one priority,” said Barta, “I am confident in the medical protocols established by the Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Sports Medicine Committee, in addition to the continued oversight provided by our UI Hawkeye team physicians within the UIHC Department of Orthopedics and Epidemiology.
“The past few months have entailed numerous conversations between my conference colleagues, Commissioner Kevin Warren and our Big Ten presidents, as we have worked to navigate the challenges associated with this pandemic. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our donors, ticket holders, partners, and fans. Now that the football schedule has been announced, we will finalize our Kinnick Stadium seating plan and share that in the next few days. If we have the opportunity to play, we are excited about our challenging conference schedule and the five games in Kinnick Stadium.”
“As a program, we have been looking forward to this day since the decision to play a conference-only schedule was announced,” said coach Kirk Ferentz. “Knowing when our games are scheduled will allow us to prepare for what is ahead on the field and support our players’ academic schedules off the field.
“Our players have shown patience and dedication during the most recent period of conditioning and off-season workouts, and now we are excited to begin the process of preparing for a football season. We are continuing to closely monitor the health and safety of our players and staff and look forward to starting our season in Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 5.”