The Big Ten has made it official, Michigan football and the conference will be back on Oct. 23-24.
As we went to bed last night, there was still no official word from the Big Ten on the possible restart this fall, so like the rest of the conference, Michigan football fans had to wait.
UPDATE: The Big Ten has officially announced 2020 fall season on Oct. 23-24
“On Wednesday morning, the waiting finally ended. Sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports that the Big Ten will return to play in the fall of 2020. The league is expected to start the season on Oct. 24, which is scheduled to allow for both a conference title game and a potential spot in the College Football Playoff.”
Of course, the Big Ten’s return was also reported by other media outlets Tuesday such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And we all saw the Nebraska president drop a pretty big hint on a hot mic yesterday, which sums up this whole wild process pretty well.
The biggest change though in the reporting is that the season would start Oct. 24 according to Thamel, when we had previously heard the start date was Oct. 17.
What Oct. 24 means for Michigan football and others
It’s important to note that the Big Ten could still get in an eight-game season, the Big Ten championship game and possibly have a team selected for the playoff if it all worked out.
There are still questions though. The committee is going to have to evaluate the Big Ten on less games and for the first time, all teams will be judged only on conference play.
Beyond that, if the start date is Oct. 24, that means no bye weeks and no margin for error.
We have seen cancellations and postponements throughout college football, even among teams playing right now, so getting through nine consecutive weeks of football isn’t a given.
It also means Michigan football fans would have to wait five weeks instead of four to watch the Wolverines and the rest of the Big Ten.
It’s not perfect, but not long ago, fall football seemed like a remote possibility. Now, there is a stronger chance than ever that we see Michigan football back on the field relatively soon.
Thanks to the development of rapid testing, the Big Ten feels confident enough to play. Teams will also play on their home fields according to Dan Wetzel, in front of limited fans.
The fat lady has sung and the Big Ten is back.