BREAKING NEWS: Big Ten votes to return to play. What do we know and don't know?
Updated: Sep 17
#BREAKING: WLNS-TV, NBC4 and USA TODAY among several other news outlets are reporting that the Big Ten Conference has voted to play football this fall. This is after voting not to play in mid-August. Athletic directors, coaches, players, parents and fans have been very vocal about the Big Ten's decision to not play since it was announced. They have worked behind the scenes to put pressure on them to get to this point. Here is what we know and don't know right now.
- The season will start the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and will be an eight-game season, not the 10 games from before.
- The top teams in the East and West divisions will still be playing in the Big Ten title game, which will take place on Dec. 19, but there will also be consolation games for the remaining teams in each division. So the second place teams in each division will play each other, the third place teams will play each other and so on, all the way down to the seventh place teams in each division.
What we don't know at the moment:
- Who is playing exactly?
We have heard the Michigan schools (Michigan and Michigan State), Maryland, Rutgers and Northwestern are possibly out. I could see one of them playing. Mainly Michigan due to the fact that Jim Harbaugh has been very vocal about wanting to play this fall. The question there, however, is does the president of the university, Mark Schlissel, want to play. If you are a Michigan fan you might want to watch how this plays out and what will break here.
- Will there be fans in the stands?
Ohio State proposed 18,000 to 23,000 fans in the stands, BUT that was ultimately killed by the conference. OSU athletic director Gene Smith showed his support of getting guys on the field without fans in the stands.
"Let's mitigate the risk," he said. "Let's make sure we get the games played and in a safe way."
There is a current proposal, though as of this writing, that the conference will allow players' families to be in attendance. However, where they would be permitted to sit is not known at this time.
- The Schedule
All we know it is an eight-game season in conference. Who will be playing we don't know as of yet and that will be on who will be actually playing this year.
Stay with us as we'll work to get you the latest on Score On Air Network and all of our shows. I will have the latest on my show Sports Unfiltered, this Thursday at 4 p.m. on the Score On Air Network's Facebook page.