Big 10 football is making its return on October 24th after the league’s presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to resume play. The Big 10 football conference consists of 14 Division 1 teams: the University of Indiana, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Rutgers University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin.
The plan is for each of the teams to play eight games throughout eight weeks. This tight schedule will allow two teams to face off in the Big 10 Championship on December 19th. This date will also allow the teams to play one additional game outside of their conference. The teams that qualify for the NCAA playoffs will find out on December 20th.
The Big 10 initially postponed its fall sports seasons after coronavirus concerns. All 14 campuses are now implementing daily rapid testing before each practice and game. If any football player tests positive, they must wait 21 days before returning to their teams. Additionally, they must be cleared by a campus cardiologist because of concerns over myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can be caused by the coronavirus.
Ohio State Football players are ready to return, image credits Cleveland.com.
Every team has made the executive decision to not sell football tickets to fans. Although the stadium seats will be empty, some universities are working on having family members present during the games. Penn State is one of those colleges that is pushing for families to be in the stands.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has previously advocated for the return of Big 10 Football. He pushed to make saliva tests available for the student-athletes. Following the decision to resume play, President Trump tweeted “Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. All teams to participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped!!!”
The Big 10 is one of the most dominant athletic conferences, and have two teams ranked in the national polls. Ohio State came in at second, whereas Penn State came in seventh. The teams are all hoping for a sense of normalcy this season and are optimistic about the future of the league.
Brooke Marotti’21 Co-Executive Editor-in-Chief