After a cancellation, lots of controversy, and many COVID cases at Big Ten Campuses, the Conference has found a way to bring football back. So we can finally say, Big Ten football is back, so back. Teams will play an 8-game, all-conference schedule, starting on the 24th of October. The season will conclude 8 weeks later, meaning that there will be no breaks for the teams, on December 19th. The final week of the season will be a “championship week” where the best teams in the Big Ten West and Big Ten East will face off, and the second-best team in the Big Ten East and West will face off, and so on. Each team will play every other team in their division of the Big Ten, and play 2 crossover games. Nebraska, the team that was most critical of the Big Ten’s original decision to cancel football in the fall, faces the toughest crossover challenge as they must play the Penn State Nittany Lions and one of the country’s best teams: The Ohio State Buckeyes. The Big Ten will be able to join the other power 5 conferences that are playing college football this fall (the Atlantic Coastal Conference, The Southeastern conference, and the Big 12 conference), in the College Football Playoff. The CFP is the way teams can compete for a National Championship. The Big Ten will also be allowed to have its teams participate in the many bowl games that take place during the bowl season. Joining the Big 10 this fall will be the other conference that canceled their season in the summer: The Pacific 12, or Pac 12. The Pac 12 will be playing a 6 game schedule beginning in November. Big Ten players that have opted out of the season, but have not hired an agent will be able to opt back into the season. The most prominent factor in the Big Ten’s return was the emergence of rapid COVID testing. Players will also undergo cardiac screenings to test for heart problems. The Wisconsin Badgers will take on the Fighting Illini on October 24th.
By: Tanay Desai