Big Ten Conference Only Football Schedule Plan For A Ten Game Season: The CFN Idea

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Big Ten Conference Only Football Schedule Plan For A Ten Game Season: The CFN Idea

Big Ten

Big Ten Conference Only Football Schedule Plan For A Ten Game Season: The CFN Idea


How should the Big Ten do a ten-game conference-only schedule? Here’s a plan and an idea to make it all work.

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The Big Ten has decided to go rogue.

If there’s going to be a 2020 college football season in the fall, the Big Ten will go with a conference-only schedule – almost certainly a ten-game slate – in order to do two things: standardize the testing, practice and protocols to make the season happen in the age of a pandemic, and create flexibility with the schedule.

So what would and should a ten-game Big Ten season look like? How would it work? Here’s our idea to make it happen.

Every Big Ten team was scheduled to play nine conference games, which means each one would miss four other teams. This is about to be a big deal, because if you originally weren’t supposed to play Ohio State, you’re probably not going to be that fired up to now have to deal with that.

All the Big Ten East teams were originally scheduled to play four Big Ten road games, and All The Big Ten West teams were schedule to play five, so we have to fit five East road games to the West in there.

One final thing – the schedule needs to be front-loaded.

Wherever possible, we try to allow for two open dates in November to allow for some flexibility and potential rescheduling. However, Michigan vs. Ohio State – if everything goes off like normal – won’t mock off the final weekend.

With all of that in mind, here’s each Big Ten team’s original schedule, and how it should probably be tweaked.

So there’s no confusion, this isn’t the official schedule – it’s just an idea. We’ll dive in on the real thing when it’s out. This is a plan on how to possibly do it.

Big Ten East Conference Only Schedule Idea

2020 Indiana Football Schedule Idea

 2020 Indiana Preview

Originally Missing: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

Let’s assign the Hoosiers Iowa early on, and then move over the Purdue finale and the Illinois games from November to earlier. If they have to be moved back, that’s fine, but again the goal is to allow for possible flexibility.

Sept. 4 at Wisconsin
Sept. 12 WKU at Iowa
Sept. 19 Ball State OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at UConn Illinois
Oct. 3 OPEN DATE Purdue
Oct. 10 Maryland
Oct. 17 at Rutgers
Oct. 24 Michigan State
Oct. 31 Penn State
Nov. 7 at Ohio State
Nov. 14 Illinois OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Michigan
Nov. 28 Purdue OPEN DATE

CFN in 60: Michigan Wolverines Preview

2020 Maryland Football Schedule Idea

2020 Maryland Preview

Originally Missing: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue

The Terps have to play Ohio State anyway, so they might as well get it over with right away. They get Purdue from the West to follow, and the Michigan State finale gets moved to late September. On the plus side, the brutal November is eased up a bit.

Sept. 5 Towson Ohio State
Sept. 12 Northern Illinois at Purdue
Sept. 19 at West Virginia OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 OPEN DATE Michigan State
Oct. 3 Minnesota
Oct. 10 at Indiana
Oct. 17 at Northwestern
Oct. 24 Wisconsin
Oct. 31 Rutgers
Nov. 7 at Michigan
Nov. 14 Ohio State OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Penn State
Nov. 28 Michigan State OPEN DATE

2020 Michigan Football Schedule Idea

2020 Michigan Preview

Originally Missing: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern

Michigan is one of the more difficult parts of the bunch. It would’ve been nice to get Iowa on the slate, but Illinois fits better, and that’s to start things off. The Indiana game gets moved to give the Wolverines a late week off, but the Ohio State game stays put.

Sept. 5 at Washington at Illinois
Sept. 12 Ball State OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 Arkansas State Indiana
Sept. 26 Wisconsin
Oct. 3 Penn State
Oct. 10 at Michigan State
Oct. 17 at Minnesota
Oct. 24 Purdue
Nov. 7 Maryland
Nov. 14 at Rutgers
Nov. 21 Indiana OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Ohio State

2020 Michigan State Football Schedule Idea

2020 Michigan State Preview

Originally Missing: Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin

Move the trip to Maryland to the first half of the season, but the Spartans get hammered buy three straight road trips – getting Nebraska from the West – before hosting Michigan and Ohio State. However, four of the last six games would be at home.

Sept. 5 Northwestern
Sept. 12 at BYU OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 Toledo at Nebraska
Sept. 26 Miami at Maryland
Oct. 3 at Iowa
Oct. 10 Michigan
Oct. 17 Ohio State
Oct. 24 at Indiana
Oct. 31 Minnesota
Nov. 14 at Penn State
Nov. 21 Rutgers
Nov. 28 at Maryland OPEN DATE

2020 Ohio State Football Schedule Idea

2020 Ohio State Preview

Originally Missing: Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

The Buckeyes would balk at having to play Wisconsin from the West, but someone has to, and it would be one of the biggest earlier games of the season. Put it this way – it’s better than going to Wisconsin.

Sept. 5 Bowling Green at Maryland
Sept. 12 at Oregon at Wisconsin
Sept. 19 Buffalo OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Rutgers
Oct. 10 Iowa
Oct. 17 at Michigan State
Oct. 24 at Penn State
Oct. 31 Nebraska
Nov. 7 Indiana
Nov. 14 at Maryland OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Illinois
Nov. 28 Michigan

2020 Penn State Football Schedule Idea

2020 Penn State Preview

Originally Missing: Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin

The Nittany Lions would be forced to go to Minnesota for a second straight season, but they’d get a week off to follow to ease into the rest of the campaign. The Rutgers game would be moved to earlier,

Sept. 5 Kent State Minnesota
Sept. 12 at Virginia Tech OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 San Jose State at Rutgers
Sept. 26 Northwestern
Oct. 3 at Michigan
Oct. 17 Iowa
Oct. 24 Ohio State
Oct. 31 at Indiana
Nov. 7 at Nebraska
Nov. 14 Michigan State
Nov. 21 Maryland
Nov. 28 at Rutgers OPEN DATE

2020 Rutgers Football Schedule Idea

2020 Rutgers Preview

Originally Missing: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin

Rutgers would start the season a bit later, but there are two November open dates to make up for the long, long run of eight straight games. It would get a trip to Northwestern after finally getting off the launching pad.

Sept. 5 Monmouth OPEN DATE
Sept. 12 Syracuse at Northwestern
Sept. 19 at Temple Penn State
Sept. 26 at Ohio State
Oct. 3 Illinois
Oct. 10 at Purdue
Oct. 17 Indiana
Oct. 24 Nebraska
Oct. 31 at Maryland
Nov. 14 Michigan
Nov. 21 at Michigan State
Nov. 28 Penn State OPEN DATE

NEXT: Big Ten West Schedule Ideas


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