Latest edition of B1G football schedule released on FOX

When the Big Ten reversed course Wednesday and allowed for a fall football season, a much-anticipated campaign was restored for a much-hyped Indiana team.

On Saturday, with the release of the conference’s new eight-game, conference-only slate, the Hoosiers were presented with another kind of opportunity to prove themselves.

IU’s 2020 schedule will open on the weekend of Oct. 24 with a home game versus Penn State. It will be in an empty Memorial Stadium, because the conference isn’t allowing fans at games, but the Hoosiers still get to host one of the East Division’s perennial powers in the opener.

For every team, the schedule will present a challenge, because there are no bye weeks. Action in the Big Ten opens the second to last weekend of October and wraps up with a “champions week,” which leads into a Dec. 19 conference title game.

“We got a lot of guys that I think are good football players that are back,” IU coach Tom Allen said Thursday. “But keeping them healthy, we said from the beginning, whoever can stay the healthiest this crazy season, is going to be the team that’s the last man standing.

“The team that can manage this the best and shows the most maturity and is able to stay the healthiest is going to have the best season. We gotta be that team. That’s our challenge. And I really love our football team. I love the toughness we have, I love the way guys have responded, stayed together. They kept believing.”

Unlike the 10-game version of the Hoosiers’ schedule released in August, there is no stretch equal to the Wisconsin-PSU-Ohio State grouping that was previously laid out for the first four weeks. After facing the Nittany Lions, this revised schedule has IU taking a road trip to Rutgers. The Hoosiers then return home to face Michigan.

Michigan, like PSU, offers IU another opportunity to prove how much it has grown as a program, even compared to last year. In 2019, the Hoosiers hosted the Wolverines but fell in decisive fashion, 39-14. But Michigan has lost significant pieces, including quarterback Shea Patterson.

That home date is followed by a road trip to Michigan State, the site of another disappointing 2019 result, but of a different sort. IU went back and forth with MSU at Spartan Stadium, inevitably falling 40-31. But that loss was the forerunner to a four-game winning streak.

If the Hoosiers want to take a leap over MSU in the East Division, this will be their chance.

The Hoosiers’ only back-to-back on the road in 2020 ends in Columbus, Ohio, with the Buckeyes in Week 5. While IU’s home games will be just as empty, the loss of 105,000 screaming fans at The Horseshoe could level the playing field somewhat for the Hoosiers there.

“I just know, just talking to other teams that have played in those situations, it kinda took away that strong home-field advantage that you usually get from those teams that have such large stadiums. And they usually are full,” Allen said Thursday. “You just gotta be mentally tough. You have to bring your own juice, you know, to those situations and be able to play and be mentally and physically tough. That’s what everybody’s gonna have to do. So it’s an equal playing field for everybody.”

The last of six straight Big Ten East contests will be Maryland at home on Nov. 28. That’s followed by a road contest at Wisconsin, which means a trip to Madison is still on the schedule — it just comes two months later than originally planned. IU’s first two schedules opened on Sept. 4 at Camp Randall Stadium.

Of course, the slate is capped with Purdue, at home, for the Old Oaken Bucket. IU currently owns the rivalry trophy after a double-overtime win in West Lafayette in 2019.

There is also a plan for a ninth game in nine weeks, because each East Division team will have a crossover matchup with a West opponent in Week 9. That matchup will be determined by seeding from the eight-game slate. But the conference does not want rematches, so it’s unlikely Purdue and IU would rematch in the crossover.

When compared to the 10-game slate released in August, the Hoosiers have dropped Illinois and Minnesota. What’s still missing from the schedule, as well, are specific dates and times. IU’s release Saturday said “special date games, including Fridays” will be announced “at a later date, along with game times and television designations.”

Here is IU’s new 2020 schedule, which tentatively lists the opener as an Oct. 24 kick:

Oct. 24: vs. Penn State

Oct. 31: at Rutgers

Nov. 7: vs. Michigan

Nov. 14: at Michigan State

Nov. 21: at Ohio State

Nov. 28: vs. Maryland

Dec. 5: at Wisconsin

Dec. 12: vs. Purdue

Dec. 19: Big Ten Champions Week – East vs. West


  1. The schedule looks like one that could show IU is a changed program. Opening with PSU could get IU a signature win and set up the season to be a very good one. It will be very important for IU to beat PSU and establish the tone of this season.

  2. We play the top four teams in the conference, along with the bottom two, with two middlings. Four wins against this slate would be a very good year.

    1. Four wins with this schedule is consider a very good year!! REALLY……Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue and Michigan State…..okay!! Any other win is consider a upset (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan) four and four!!! Hopefully we get all eight games (seasons) in.

  3. Now that’s a SCHEDULE!

    “Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burned, and at once. We will stand and fight here. If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead.”

  4. I’m thinking that would be a brutal basketball schedule….(or stretch). But would it be considered a successful stretch if only to win 1/2 the games? And this will forever be the low standard for IU Football compared to the high standard (one that hasn’t been met in 20 years) for IU Basketball.

    How long will it take for those completely dichotomous standards to ever begin to move along the plane toward each other? The world may never know….

    But, for once, a true test for football…. Prepare to find excuses for Allen (e.g. no fans favors rosters with deeper talent….Fans always fuel the underdog more than the favorite. One Covid infection to a star on IU means far more than on a deep OSU roster, etc, etc, etc).

    Pray, simply pray.

  5. Late start for the BIG may not be a bad thing. Main subject for the pre-game show. Kind of like being late to a party and making a grand entrance.

  6. In my opinion, 5-3 would be a successful season, and then capping it off with a 6th win in week 9 would be awesome and an extremely good year! We will see pretty quickly if that proverbial corner has been turned.

    On another subject, I think the B1G has set itself up for a whole slew of cancelled games or another cancelled season. Limit of 5% infections for entire team and staff with mandatory 21 day no competition. No other conference is doing anything as restrictive. One week UT suspended team activities and the next week were back at it. The SEC has even come up with some type of formula for how many players a team needs to still be required to play, and I’ll guarantee they will all be playing even with more than 5% staying home with Covid. Also, those that tested positive won’t be sitting out for 21 days!

    I thought it was all about a couple of negative tests and you’re back. One of my daughter-in-laws is a nurse anesthetist here in Knoxville and they are letting hospital staff who have tested positive come back way sooner than 21 days.

    Has the new commish bungled this return plan?

  7. Reality will be as it plays out. Oct 24 thru December whatever date. Then, it will be known what reality is.


    I’m shocked (heavy on sarcasm) IU received the second hardest schedule while Ohio State received the easiest. IU will once again play 4 teams heavily favored- by the officials. IU’s best team in more than 3 decades could still end up with a losing record. I’m happy IU will get to prove it on the field.
    But once again, the league sucks up to the marque teams. Looking forward to phantom IU targetting and pass interference calls against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State while the officials suddenly go blind when the same opponents tee off on Penix and our receivers. Same as it ever was….

    1. Yeah, the Big 10 is all about trying to cheat IU! Love it when the conspiracy looms come out of their caves!

  9. Bear Down- you really are a sad, bitter old man. Tell me which IU coach has not complained about biased officiating going back to the 1960’s? Everyone of them has expressed that same sentiment. I asked Mallory on a flight from Denver to Indy once about the officiating. His comment was diplomatic- the league manages the officials and revenue manages the league. You probably have trouble remembering, but Mallory got suspended and fined for calling out the obvious. TA now tries to also be diplomatic when he says “I guess we have to earn the right to get those calls.” Since when do you need to earn the right for parity from officials? So eat your crow and your Metamucil and come back with your usual cup of bitterness. Too bad you are no longer capable of more than just being the Joe Biden of IU sports…

    1. Every team gets bad calls. It happens in every sport. I was calling out the loons and wackos who somehow believe, in spite of the training, the vetting, the oversight, and the public nature of officiating, that there’s some grand conspiracy against their team (in your case, against IU). It’s nutty, it’s false, and there’s zero basis for the accusations.

      1. What a relief…At first I thought you were calling out conspiracy “looms” without a thread of evidence to weave such an argument.

        Many looming questions…

        Seemingly forever anchored in the division which contains 3 of the 4 richest/deepest/tradition-based football programs, do we need a conspiracy to examine some rotation or changes in conference divisional alignment?
        Will things change now that we have a more neutral commissioner…(rather than the previous Tar Heel ‘comish’ who spent his college days watching Bobby “The Headline Hoarder” Knight and IU hang many banners)?

        Do you think a football program continually coddled/obsessed over because of its lack of competitiveness in a system of very unbalanced divisional alignment creates roadblocks in restoring/reclaiming some basketball relevance?
        Do we need the potential revenues of football more today than in our glory days of hanging hoops banners?
        Are we allowed some honest examinations on how a heavy dose of prejudice/bias/resentment/jealousy can enter into decision processes by some who hold positions of power?
        Can their decisions on conference alignment and other matters influence the forces/perceptions/goals of our two major sports programs….along with how “relevance” can be perceived and/or stymied?
        Have we become so frustrated with football that it puts added expectations/pressures on basketball?
        How long would it take a 2A Indiana H.S. football program to be consistently competitive with a 6A program?

        And did the former Tar Heel commissioner bring added influence/bias in pandering to Eastern demands (e.g. holding a Big10 conference basketball tournament in NYC)?
        Does it necessarily mean an anti-IU form of bias?
        Because an argument is nearly impossible to prove mean those holding power can’t exert influences based on their own desires (some which could be rather unethical motivations if one could get inside the heads of those in charge)?

  10. Defund the IU Football program! The Big10 just answers to the corporation….

    Watched ‘Roller Ball’ (1975) starring James Caan last night. Damn, the flick is a Bernie Sanders campaign in a time machine nutshell….Please all stand for the ‘Corporation Anthem’

    Roll(er) Bach the time clock….This could be the permanent theme for IU Football.

    1975 Indiana Hoosiers football
    Record: 2-8-1 (1-6-1 Big Ten)

  11. Oh, there he goes again. Calling people names and embellishing someone’s comments in order to discredit opinions he disagrees with. Nobody said anything about a “grand conspiracy,” and 123 is right; almost every IU FB coach, dating back decades, has believed that Big Ten refs favor the traditional powerhouse FB teams. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a psychological condition referred to as “Observation Bias,” and it is real and common. Definition: “A bias comprised of errors by a viewer in one direction. Such a bias is frequently correlated with the viewer’s assumptions, beliefs, or private inclinations.”

    If you were there and paying attention, you witnessed it two years ago in Bloomington when IU hosted MSU. Some of the non-calls favoring MSU were egregious and so obvious that a blind man could have seen them. Several years ago, when IU took OSU down to the final play, IU’s receiver was mugged in the end zone by an OSU DB, right in front of the refs. It was a blatant PI and an obviously biased non call. OSU was not supposed to get beat by IU.

    And you know why we know that what 123 said is real? Because Bob Knight’s best teams used to benefit from favorable calls and non-calls back in the 70’s and 80’s! Observation bias is human nature. The refs begin the season, and each game, with understandings and opinions about which teams are superior/more talented/better coached. They are psychologically predisposed to see things or not see things that reinforce those opinions. Observation Bias is human nature, and no amount of training can eliminate it completely, especially in league officials that work part time and for relatively little money.

    On top of that, it is important to the Big Ten that one of the conference’s teams makes it to the FBS playoffs each season. OSU is the most talented FB team in the conference these days and therefore the most likely to play for a national championship. Therefore, it’s just understood that OSU is going to get the benefit of the doubt from conference officials and refs on their way to the playoffs. In fact, and ironically, OSU was victimized by “Observer Bias” in last year’s playoff loss to Clemson. It probably wasn’t an overt conspiracy; no one wrote emails or held meetings in smoke-filled back rooms and to instruct game officials on which team should win. But it was understood Clemson was the better team and should advance to the National Championship game. Perhaps you recall these headlines: “Media crushes officiating after controversial calls in Fiesta Bowl,” or “Controversial call costs Ohio State a fumble return TD,” or “How two controversial calls by referees swung momentum to Clemson in Fiesta Bowl 2019.” If not Observation Bias, how do you explain two of the worst calls in the history of college football that cost OSU the opportunity to play in the national Championship game?

    1. No, there haven’t been any IU coaches that believed Big 10 refs favored the traditional powers. That in and of itself is crazy. What you’ve seen, and what every fan base sees, are bad calls. But that isn’t an example of favoritism. You’re viewing as a fan rather than as an impartial observer.

  12. As for how this happens, it’s really simple. Officials are human and, even though they get most of the calls right, sometimes they miss. They have a bad angle, they don’t see what the camera does, etc. Bit it’s not bias or favoritism. It’s just human fallibility, and nothing more.

    1. It’s human nature to hold bias and favoritism. I find it extremely difficult to completely nullify such motivations out of a fallible human. Isn’t such potentials in prejudice and unethical motivations the entire reason we have a balance of powers in government (or, at least, that perception)?

      Thank heavens above for replay review….because even God in a zebra outfit can have a bad angle or not see what the camera sees. lol.

      1. If only one person was doing the officiating, I think your point might have validity. But multi-reffed sports will never have the kind of coordination it would take to introduce “fixed” bias into officiating unless, of course, someone intends to be biased. In those instances, as we’ve seen, the perpetrators get caught. The block on Downing did the dual possession against UM. Of the multiple opportunities for fouls and penalties to occur during games, rare is it that a ref gets it wrong. Rarer still is the ability to “fix” a predetermined call and, with other circumstances beyond the ref’s control occurring, have the Machiavellian outcome turn out exactly as planned.

        I get it that fans think the refs are always against their team, but the reality is that bad calls happen, not because refs are trying to cheat or be biased but because they’re humans.

        1. Obviously, there are multiple refs/officials, but aren’t many calls made by one referee whistle or one official throwing a flag? With replay review some blatantly poor calls/mistakes get overturned, but it’s not always the case…(nor was it the case many years ago when the call made was the call accepted).

          In totality, the refs averages on getting a call correct are beyond spectacular. But it doesn’t take much deviation from averages to influence a very big contest. On average, an inherent bias may only enter the equation a few times in a career.
          And I never gamble on baseball, said Pete Rose……

          With the proliferation/explosion of legalized online gambling (the amount of cash that can change hands simply on an ‘over-under’ bet), it’s hard to imagine the vulnerability of a weaker side of human nature not influencing a certain amount of outcomes

          Then there is the whole argument of reviews and stoppages ….and challenges ruining the flow, potentially pausing momentum, altering crowd fervor, etc, etc …thus changing/affecting outcomes to a greater of degree than if only a major mistake or a major “bias” was left to rearing its rare ugly head.

          1. You make some good points, but I was responding to very direct charges of officiating (Four of IU’s opponents would be “heavily favored by the officials”, “It’s just understood that OSU is going to get the benefit of the doubt from conference officials”). That’s not “observational bias”, that’s an allegation of intentional favoritism, with no proof. I get that fans all think their team is singularly getting screwed by the refs in every game, but it’s not the case. I do love the tin hat crowd though, always good for a laugh. Coaches think those kinds of conspiracy theories are funny, too. They hear them regularly from lubed up fans on the summer alumni golf circuit, along with the perfect triple reverse long bomb that is guaranteed to beat OSU or Michigan.

          2. Summation: The more we attempt to review/correct/stop/pause contests because of officiating/refereeing mistakes (whether bad angles, bias, temporary blindness) , the more we eff up the product and detour any contest from the beauty of its natural or improbable course?
            Simply look at our current political/national culture/climate of distrust….If all news is “fake news,” then why should there be trust in other institutions? Are the socialists at ESPN taking over sports as well?

          3. When I coached I saw officials as part of the game that we couldn’t control. You just have to play well enough to overcome any calls just like overcoming a rainy night. It is tough in a close game and calls go against you that interfere what you are trying to do.

            The B1G can end a lot of this conspiracy talk by taking over the officials and establishing standards along with the league assigning officials instead of the schools picking their officials for games.

          4. The Big Ten already has control of officials. They have a full time supervisor of officials for that job. They hire them, train them, do background checks on them, assign them to games, and evaluate them after every game and season (a function performed under the direction of a former NFL supervisor of officials). Schools don’t pick officials.

  13. I do recall a horrific call at Michigan…..during the Lynch dynasty years. Was it a pick by IU later reviewed/reversed to favor the Michigan receiver(simultaneous catch thing)? I can’t recall the details other than the ref’s call being a huge momentum swing for Michigan and robbing IU of a rare chance to win at the ‘Big House.’

    Games do hinge on momentum swings…(e.g. call against Downing vs. Walton/UCLA) and refs can certainly alter history with one whistle (or lack thereof). I will forever believe the call against Downing was a “fixed” whistle….I will also forever believe Purdue attempted to injure Scott May to keep IU from hanging the ’75 banner. Maybe not conspiracies….but extremely unethical and “fixed” behavior.

  14. If IU has a 10 point lead I would say IU still wins the game but I know from many years of the practically last 7 decades of experience IU would have probably needed to have a 17 point lead at that point in the game to come out with a 3 point field goal win and for IU’s sake not go into overtime.

  15. I will say having no fans likely helps the deeper “powerhouse” teams of the conference more than any skewed officiating based on pedigree.

    Underdogs may need the emotional/adrenalin boost of a 12th man a bit more than a heavy favorite to get over the top.

    Then again, IU is used to playing with a very low level of fan involvement and the shock to their system may be less.

    Question: Are they piping in fake crowd noise with the college games in a similar fashion to the NFL? If so, that could really mess with our players minds at Memorial….They’ll be getting more cheers with empty seats than experienced on a normal basis. This could cause some real resentment when the early departing historically blasé fans of a sparsely filled Memorial return. “We want our louder empty stadium back!”

Comments are closed.