Big Ten's 10-game conference-only schedule designed for 'maximum flexibility'
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The Big Ten announced its schedule for the 2020 season Wednesday, featuring conference-only slates.

Schools will each play 10 games (against their nine current opponents, plus one additional cross-division matchup) over 12 weeks, starting as early as Sept. 5.

The conference's schedule was created with "maximum flexibility" in order to give schools the chance to maintain their season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the statement:

  • Games can be collapsed into bye weeks
  • Uniform bye week 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
  • 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

"In making this announcement, the conference acknowledges that there is much work to be done on our campuses, in our communities, and across the country to gain control of a virus that continues to spread at an alarming rate," the Big Ten said. "While the conference remains hopeful for a September 2020 start in all fall sports, including football, issuing a schedule does not guarantee that competition will occur.

"While our strategy is to continue planning for all fall sports, if the virus continues to spread among our students despite our many preventative measures, including testing and quarantine protocols, we are also prepared to delay or cancel competition pursuant to local and state public health orders or the recommendations of our medical experts."

A major change to the Big Ten's usual schedule is the placement of Ohio State versus Michigan. The game is scheduled for Oct. 24, marking the first time the rivals won't play each other at the end of the regular season since 1942, per ESPN.

If the Big Ten hits its earliest targeted start date, it will begin before the ACC, Pac-12, and SEC.

Ohio State has won three straight Big Ten championships and four of the last six, with Michigan State and Penn State each claiming one title.

Big Ten's 10-game conference-only schedule designed for 'maximum flexibility'
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