Report: Big Ten football could start around Thanksgiving

Below is a report from Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 

MADISON, Wis. – With parents groups continuing to demand Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren further explain the reasons for shutting down the 2020 football season and eight Nebraska players filing a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn that decision, the league’s football coaches continue working on a revised schedule. 

According to two college football people familiar with the Big Ten, those talks have generated a new option, starting a Big Ten season of at least eight games the week of Thanksgiving.

The Journal Sentinel reported earlier this month that league officials were working on a plan to play an eight-game season beginning in January, with the games to be played in indoor facilities.

If teams would be unable to take the field later this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, league officials could still fall back on the January start.

The news comes one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for a rapid antigen test designed by Abbott Labs. The test is expected to cost $5 and the results should be available in just 15 minutes, without the sample being sent to a lab.

Abbott anticipates being able to produce 50 million of the BinaxNOW tests by October. In addition, Abbott is designing a free mobile app that will allow those who test negative to display a temporary, date-stamped health pass. That pass will be renewed each time a new test is administered.

“The massive scale of this test and app will allow tens of millions of people to have access to rapid and reliable testing,” Dr. Joseph Petrosino, professor and chairman of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, said in a release. “With lab-based tests, you get excellent sensitivity but might have to wait days or longer to get the results. With a rapid antigen test, you get a result right away, getting infectious people off the streets and into quarantine so they don’t spread the virus.”

Big Ten officials, including Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, have noted the importance of being able to get rapid test results to be sure athletes and staff members are not infected.

“We thought that potentially could be an answer for us,” Alvarez said recently. “If we had a saliva test that we could get back within an hour.

“Heck, we could have our guys do their test, go in and have breakfast and they’d have an answer before they went to practice and we could have a clean practice field.”


  1. This seems to make coach Tom Allen’s words of faith explaining his attitude and thoughts to the current events surrounding the 2020 football season a masterful response.

  2. The combination of new testing advances and serious financial problems, are making the B1G act like a “yo-yo”! Nebraska needs to be financially punished by the Conference or the B1G is just a gravey-train for cash with no spine on decisions. Let the “Football Factory” pay the exit fee and be done with NE. The B1G does not need them!

  3. Fake news. Too many outdoor stadiums in the Midwest/Upper Midwest. The weather can be brutal in December….This is a time when you’re going to a warm climate to play in a Pimple Cream bowl.

  4. The B1G would have been far better stating they were delaying the season until certain measure were developed with them stating what was needed. This testing has been in the works and will change the game so to speak. Having cheap instant, nearly so, testing to be sure to separate out the infected will change the need to eliminate a season. It should also allow restaurants to open again with just a small wait time before getting your table. Many issues about this virus will be solved before a vaccination is developed allow society to get back to a more normal situation.

    I hope this testing is proven and implemented soon allowing the league to get started sooner than Thanksgiving with 3 months to go. Getting started the first week of October would work better for saving the season.

    1. Your opinion is way too “the pandemic” is over. These tests are new, they have not been tried and proven, they are not available, etc. In 3-4 months some of what you say may be true. Definitely not true today.

      1. Actually they have been tested. It would be the same test that the NBA currently uses and have proven to be effective and used daily to test players, staff and others in the “bubble”.

        1. Don’t know why we keep comparing the NBA “bubble” to nearing anything that could be accomplished in a college setting….The goal of the NBA bubble is to keep the virus out and not promote the spread of the virus.
          What is the goal of college sports? Testing will not guarantee containment …and it’s certainly not limiting travel into various communities. If you don’t “bubble,” you won’t contain spread. You don’t need a test to verify the obvious. The NBA is searching/testing for the one outlier or the exception to lockdown/bubble efforts (e.g. a leak in containment) …The outlier in a relatively trusting open system of transmission/travel/campus life/traveling back-and-forth to home for weekends will be a negative test results.
          What good is a fast test without solid containment/bubble efforts? You are simply offering peace of mind to the athlete (the 1/1000 that actually might need medical treatment) while offering none to a community with, potentially, more vulnerable members now subjected to asymptomatic spread.

          1. All I did was mention that the testing kit that has been used in the NBA bubble would be the same one that colleges would use due to the lower cost of the test and the quick results. That is all. I was not comparing the bubble to anything. Everytime you see the word bubble you get this hardon about the bubble. I would hate to see you down the soap aisle at the grocery and happen to see the word bubble on something. You put words in people’s mouths and act like you are some authority or being cute with your little quips and quotes. Enough already the act is getting tired.

  5. A full slate of only Big10 teams might end in more of a “breakdown” than a “breakthrough.” We can ignore the reality of a pandemic and push forward. I doubt we’ll be able to ignore the reality of a 1-9 season. We’ll see how far ‘LEO’ carries us to a promise land after such a reality strikes home. After such a reality, will Allen still walk on water?
    We have always faced a ‘Jaywalkers Row of Six’ interspersed with a ‘Murderer’s Row of Three.’ Where will we stand with an ‘Assault & Battery Row of Six’ interspersed with the same ‘Murderer’s Row?’

    Pain….more pain. Maybe it’s best to just enjoy some solid SEC football and continue to live in our denial breakthrough bubble of last year? 70% of last year’s season was basically in a fantasy bubble of improvement. How bad do you want reality and 100% competition? I’ve always been for true measures of improvement….Maybe we could get to true measures of fair conference alignment and fair salaries once we witness such reality. I’m just concerned for the rest of you….Your Allen bubble may burst like a flimsy water balloon heaved from the upper decks of a press box. Cold showers coming….

  6. Coming soon to college sports?

    “High Schools turn to pay-per view options to help produce revenue” (IndyStar)

  7. As far as T.A. bubble bursting. There is really no bubble to burst because the bubble has never had much air or water in it. A less than 500 or lower season equals TRADITION. In that sense T.A. has a lot to gain and only is he the sustainable right man for the job just like those who have come before him.

    1. I get it, t. Very low expectations which goes back to salaries, return on investment and “market value” sold as reasons to justify a salary that never matches true measures of improvement/performance. There is only the mirage of success via beyond soft non-conference opponents and minimal competitiveness against below average conference opponents. Last year’s victories may have been against the lowliest of the low in program’s history…And that’s saying a mouthful for IU Football. The “bubble will burst” reference is with regard to how the mirage will burst under the stresses of a full season of competition unlike the usual scheduling only taxing to the degree of any bowl appearance as an ultimate objective.

      A few months old, but I hope the author of this piece is right….It’s a reality that should have been assessed and hitting home long ago (before a pandemic).

      Should the name “Indiana” on a jersey be argued to have “name, image and likeness” value beyond the current balance sheets of athletic departments? Because, after all, it is “Because it’s Indiana.” And that statement alone encompasses so much more than the maple hardwood at any given moment in time.

  8. Yes, no wins over a team with a winning record. Money including salaries have been out of control for what seems to be forever. Though at one time in the past they were very much in control and actually needed improved. That was a time when an honest day’s work equaled an honest day’s pay.

  9. WOW! Center Grove center-punched Warren Central last night. As did LN to Marion.
    HS FB in Indiana has had some rocks in the road during this early season. But so far schools and their FB programs are navigating it to make it work. Leo’s 2nd game last was supposed to be against Angola. Angola has been sidelined for a couple weeks from some positive tests. 4A Leo found Mooresville was idle and they struck an arrangement for Mooresville to travel to Leo for last night’s game. No doubt HS ball makes schedule adaption easier to move forward with acceptable success. But it is happening. By the way a pretty good 4A Mooresville team beat home team Leo, on a wet field, who also is a pretty good FB team too. Making it happen.

  10. IF college football season is going to start 2020… start it before Nov 3 and preferably October 1.

    1. t, I agree with you about the October start. If late Nov is fine when cold and flu season starting up then first week of October would be better.

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