• Peter Burtnett

2020 outlook brightens for Big Ten after meeting with White House

The 2020 Big Ten season hangs in the balance, but after a meeting between the Big Ten and President Trump, the outlook is looking better for Big Ten football this fall.

Shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, President Trump confirmed the rumors of a phone conversation with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren. The conversation presumably focused on health practices and determining how a more regular Big Ten season could unfold.

As the day continued to unfold, fans across Big Ten country began to see some silver lining for the 2020 season to take place at a regular time. That news was made more valid when the Dan Patrick Show tweeted the possibility of an Oct. 10 start date for the Big Ten season.

Just yesterday, I speculated at Scarlet & Game over whether the rumored Thanksgiving start time for the Big Ten was viable. Now, with Oct. 10 being a rumored target, it may be even easier to follow the schedule unveiled on Aug. 5.

With the new final College Football Playoff rankings release date pushed back to Dec. 20, ten Saturdays would be available for games to be played leading up to a Big Ten championship game on Dec. 19.

The Big Ten would likely cut at least one game from their updated schedule, and potentially down to just eight games to allow more flexibility if a game needs to be moved (outbreak inside a team, shutdown for a week or two, similar to what MLB has done).

Rumors were swirling around a potential bubble-like environment, with neutral sites in domed stadiums presumed to be implemented for a season that started in late November and went through the early winter months.

Now, though, only two regular season games would be played beyond the normal end of the regular season at the last weekend of November, meaning teams would likely keep their home games in their regular stadiums, without too much issue from the frigid weather of Big Ten land.

With the curve of new COVID-19 cases nationwide beginning to go down, many teams are standing firm to allow a small capacity of fans in the stadium, and if health protocols can be followed, the Big Ten could be back among the mix of teams playing football this fall.

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