The Big Ten Conference was the first of the Power 5 to announce any changes to the fall. Now it is falling behind.
The Big Ten announced July 9 that conference-only schedules would be used for several sports this fall. No announcements have happened since regarding how that conference-only schedule will operate or even how many games will be included.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and chair for the conference’s Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases Dr. Chris Kratochvil sent a letter to member athletic directors Thursday saying that the situation is still being evaluated and that a decision on fall camp is expected “within the next 5 days.”
Most Big Ten programs are expected to begin fall camp this next week, though two schools, Michigan State and Rutgers, are currently quarantining their entire football teams as a result of recent positive COVID-19 tests.
The letter says they understand the frustration in timing that has come from the COVID-19 virus, but that the conference “will not, and cannot, proceed with preseason camp until we are certain that we can do so safely and that will depend, in part, on testing.” Conference-wide protocols, including medical standardized testing requirements, will be released next week.
The letter goes on to say that updated fall sport schedules can be expected in August, adding that “flexibility has been created within our scheduling models to accommodate necessary adjustments” beyond a September start.
You can read the entire letter here.
Meanwhile the ACC announced Thursday a schedule model that includes Notre Dame as a football member of the conference for 2020. The league will play 10 conference games and one non-conference game, beginning the week of September 7-12.
The 2020 Football Schedule Model has been announced.
— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) July 29, 2020
The SEC also came out with an announcement Thursday, planning on a 10-game conference-only schedule for football. That schedule will begin September 26 with details released at a later date.
Despite making a conference-only announcement the same week as the Big Ten earlier in the month, the most detailed plan so far comes from the Pac-12, who announced Friday their entire slate of 10 conference-only games. Their season is also set to begin September 26.
Pac-12 approves 2020 football schedule and plans for fall sports.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) July 31, 2020
The only Power 5 conference yet to make any changes to the fall football schedule is the Big 12. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has asked for patience over the past few months, but did cancel virtual football media days for this next Monday. A meeting of league presidents is still anticipated to take place.
That places the Big Ten behind three of the other four Power 5 conferences in releasing plans for this fall. The way conferences are pushing back the start dates, don’t expect Nebraska to host Purdue, or anyone else, September 5.