The Big Ten Conference announced its decision to move all fall sports to a conference-only schedule on July 9. With the decision came a heap of speculation as to what such a season model would look like, and on Wednesday, the conference ended that speculation with the release of the 2020 football schedules for its 14 members.
Permitted that football is played this fall, all Big Ten teams will play a 10-game schedule with five home games and five away games. Each team will also have two bye weeks in anticipation of postponements related to COVID-19. The Big Ten season would culminate per usual on Dec. 5 with the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ohio State’s road to the title game will begin on a Thursday for the second time in four years and fourth time ever when the Buckeyes travel to Illinois on Sept. 3. From there, the season is lined up as follows:
• Sept. 3 — @Illinois
• Sept. 12 — Rutgers
• Sept. 19 — @Purdue
• Sept. 26 — Indiana
• Oct. 3 — Open
• Oct. 10 — Nebraska
• Oct. 17 — @Michigan State
• Oct. 24 — Michigan
• Oct. 31 — @Maryland
• Nov. 7 — @Penn State
• Nov. 14 — Open
• Nov. 21 —Iowa
Purdue represents the 10th conference team added to Ohio State’s schedule. The remainder of the schedule remains unchanged and reflects the conference games the Buckeyes were scheduled to play prior to the pandemic, albeit with rearranged dates.
In perhaps the truest sign of the strange times in which the 2020 college football season will operate, the game between Ohio State and Michigan has been moved from the final regular season game of the season for the first time since 1942. Prior to this season, “The Game” had ended both teams’ seasons for 77 consecutive years.
With camp set to begin on Friday for Ohio State, the release of the schedule by the Big Ten Conference marks continued positive news as teams approach September. However, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith cautioned that the schedule release is far from an indication of whether or not the conference will move forward with a season.
“This is not a final decision that there will be an athletics season; it is the next phase in our responsible planning process with the Big Ten Conference to be prepared if we are able to have an athletics season,” Smith said. “The final decision will me made in the coming weeks in consultation with local, state, and federal authorities.”
Kickoff times for the games are still to be determined and will be set in the coming weeks.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.