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  • Writer's pictureDeshawn Isaac

Let's play! The Big Ten begins and we have all you need to know

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:23 am. If you are a fan of the Big Ten, you know why that day was the most excellent of day. In the minds of many it might as well has been Christmas Day as we got the gift we all wanted, Big Ten Football is back and we have a date of October 23 and 24 to look forward to. With it a ton of questions that need to be answered. As you saw last night we didn’t know much, but with time we have more info then we had before so let's go through it!

The Season

We know officially it is a 9 game season with NO BYE WEEKS! Note that 9th week of games, because it will be very different in a very good way that fans might like to see in the future. We believed that it was going to be a 8 week season with 1 bye week in there. That is not the case at all. Remember the 10 game schedule that was released before the Big Ten decided to close up shop for a bit? It is looking like that will be the schedule “The new 8 game Big Ten Schedule" will be based on. Only thing is expect a few of those crossover games to go bye bye. The In Division games are staying put. Yes, Ohio State VS Michigan is happening this year in Columbus. When that is game is happening is something we’ll know very soon.

Who’s in?

The short answer is EVERYBODY. Which is shocking to say the least because we went from 5 teams nearly sitting out to everybody in. The progress on testing and heart screening changed the game completely for The Big Ten Conference. It also kept the peace in Ann Arbor as it prevented a major blow-up at Michigan. This avoided situation would have put University President Mark Schlissel, who was for not playing any sports this fall at Michigan versus Football Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who was very vocal about getting back to play. This could have been a major university blowup that would have tested the fans and booster this year. There are other problems at Michigan and they are glad this is not going to be not one of them… for now.

Green, Orange, Red

If you are a fan. You will know Green, Orange and Red in the Big Ten very soon. Every Team in the Big Ten will be getting “Rapid COVID Testing” daily starting September 30th as a part of the new protocols that The Big Ten adopted to get play to begin again. Now to the Colors They will be paired up Team and Population Positivity Rates. In short, You want it to be in the Green for things to stay normal.

Directly here are the colors in the Big Ten and what they mean…

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):

    • Green 0-2%

    • Orange 2-5%

    • Red >5%

  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):

    • Green 0-3.5%

    • Orange 3.5-7.5%

    • Red >7.5%

Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.

  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).

  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.

In short, You do your part to help your team win the Big Ten by aiming for the Green to keep things as normal as possible. With the numbers from Ohio State’s COVID-19 Dashboard they would be in the Orange right now with a 3.7% Positivity Rate for the Population and on course to dropping into the green. This is a very good thing!

The Fans

If you were planning to watch The Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. You are going to have to watch them on TV or listen to the game on a radio. The Big Ten has announced that there will be no general public fans allowed to attend the games this year. So no Buck-I-Guy or Big Nut Crowd shots this year. But as we have seen the Big Ten is not afraid to look into the decision and adjust them.

The Big Ten Title game plus MORE!?

There will be a Big Ten Title game in 2020 but there will be Six other games as well that last Saturday as well! This is where it will get interesting. We will be seeing Crossover battles 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 and etc. and we will find out which Division rules the Big Ten this year in a major way. Way to make something rough into something amazing!

So what about the Pac 12?

Yes, The Other Conference that decided to cancel the same day as the Big Ten. They have Rapid Testing ready to go like the Big Ten and Stringent rules to make sure players are safe. So what is the hold up? A few things actually. First, California and Oregon have very tight rules pertaining to COVID-19 to the point there is no contact sports allowed for colleges and universities and it is preventing the Pac 12 from starting a season with 5 of the 12 teams of the league in those two states. That prevents a return on that front.

But if you haven't noticed as well, The Western Part of the United States is on Fire and that is making Air Quality not even good enough to practice in even if they wanted to. This is not the double whammy the Pac 12 wanted here and it will take some work to get these government leaders on board with them. At the moment it is looking like Mid November will be the time the Pac 12 returns to play. They want to play so we need to see for sure.

Playoff Impact

There will be plenty to speak of here as Ohio State has a real shot at getting into the Playoff 4 for the Big Ten. There are plenty of potholes for them with Penn State being the one I think can be a serious threat to getting back to challenge. We will see the road map later this week but for a fan you can start dreaming of hearing “Across The Field” and knowing you are only just 37 days away from Football! Let the conversation begin!

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