Big Ten Cuts Non-Conference Fall Schedule for 2020
The Big Ten is making waves today. It was broken earlier by The Athletic‘s Nicole Auerbach, and has now been confirmed by the conference. Big Ten teams will face only other Big Ten teams this 2020 fall season. The biggest hit is to football. That is the money-maker at most schools, including the University of Minnesota.
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
To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.Big Ten Statement
This doesn’t come as a surprise, though. A move like this has been speculated to occur over the last few weeks. This became especially true, when schools such as Ohio State suspended voluntary workouts Wednesday, due to positive COVID tests.
As Chip Scoggins mentioned to KFAN’s Dan Barreiro on Wednesday, he believes the Big Ten wants to have as much control over the environment as possible. That means, having full control over the process. They know how schools inside the Big Ten will test players, coaches and then protocols that follow. They don’t want to worry about how other schools (outside the Big Ten) may or may not be doing things.
Currently scheduled Big Ten 2020 OOC opponents by Conference:— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 9, 2020
• 10: MAC
• 5: ACC, FBS Independent
• 4: AAC, MVFC
• 2: Big 12, Pac-12, CUSA, MWC, Sun Belt
• 1: Big South, CAA, MEAC, OVC
For Minnesota, this means their non-conference games against Florida Atlantic, Tennessee Tech, and BYU will be canceled in football. That’s not the end of the world, as those schools are not marquee matchups.
The league has yet to announce whether it will fill those slots with additional conference games. There are rumors circulating about a 10-game season, which would mean one more conference game than what is scheduled.
Given today’s news, what’s one opponent you #Gophers fans would like to see Minnesota add to the schedule? Your answer can involve playing the same opponent twice or someone from the East not currently on 2020 slate.— Phil Ervin (@PhilErvin) July 9, 2020
Personally, with 14 teams in the Big Ten, I don’t know why they wouldn’t go with a 12-game season. That would ensure Big Ten teams the best shot at bowl berths and the playoff… but who knows if that will even happen.
Let’s just hope we get some semblance of college football this year.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan