Big Ten football schedule 2020: What to know about season start date & more for conference’s return

Big Ten football teams and fans no longer have to worry about the possibility of a spring season. The conference on Wednesday preserved a fall football schedule when it announced its reversal after previously determining such a season was too dangerous amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new football schedule for the Big Ten in 2020 is a better-late-than-never slate that will keep the conference in play for this season’s College Football Playoff. Now the Pac-12 is the only Power 5 conference that will not play football in the fall of 2020.

The Big Ten football schedule in 2020 will be an abbreviated version of the schedule the conference released last month before it suspended the fall season. Though the conference will play fewer games than originally scheduled, the Big Ten championship game will still be played before the College Football Playoff pairings are announced.

Below is everything you need to know about the Big Ten football schedule in 2020 now that the conference is back in the college football fold.

Big Ten football schedule 2020

This is a unique format, because all teams — not just those who play in the Big Ten championship game — will get to play an extra game on championship weekend.

Based on the divisional finish, each team will face its counterpart in the standings: No. 2 in East vs. No 2 in West, No. 3 in East vs. No. 3 in West, etc. The division winners obviously will play in the conference title game.

The eight-game regular season Big Ten football schedule in 2020 is a necessary reduction from the 10-game proposal the conference made in August before pulling the plug on the fall season. Because the plug was put back in so deep into October, the Big Ten needed to reduce that number.

With the Big Ten football schedule starting the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and spanning eight weeks, that sets the Big Ten championship game for Dec. 19, which is the day before the College Football Playoff teams will be decided.

When will the 2020 Big Ten football schedule be announced in full?

We’ll have clarity on the complete Big Ten football schedule for 2020 soon. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said an announcement on each team’s eight-game schedule is expected later this week.

Setting up eight-game schedules for all 14 teams in the conference is a challenge. While the previously announced 10-game schedules can be used as a blueprint for the new, eight-game schedules, much will need to change, especially now that bye weeks are out of the equation.

For reference, below are the team-by-team football schedules the Big Ten floated last month. It’s unclear how much change each team will see in its list of opponents, but we know the schedule will shrink by two games and include zero bye weeks.

Ohio State football schedule

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Michigan football schedule

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Michigan State football schedule

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Wisconsin football schedule

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Penn State football schedule

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Iowa football schedule

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Nebraska football schedule

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Northwestern football schedule

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Minnesota football schedule

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Illinois football schedule

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Indiana football schedule

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Maryland football schedule

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Purdue football schedule

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Rutgers football schedule

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