The Big Ten has finally released its conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season, with each team playing 10 conference opponents. Those opponents are made up of the six other teams in each division, as well as four crossovers.
Penn State's conference schedule remains unchanged, with Illinois being added as the tenth game and a few bye weeks added in between. Northwestern's trip to Happy Valley has been moved up to September 5, originally Kent State's slot in the schedule. The entire schedule is as follows:
- September 5 - vs. Northwestern
- September 12 - @ Indiana
- September 19 - @ Michigan
- September 26 - vs. Michigan State
- October 3 - @ Rutgers
- October 10 - Bye Week
- October 17- vs. Maryland
- October 24 - vs. Iowa
- October 31 - @ Nebraska
- November 7 - vs. Ohio State
- November 14 - Bye Week
- November 21 - @ Illinois
Here is how the entire Big Ten schedule will shake out.
The 2020 Big Ten Football Schedule has been announced. pic.twitter.com/h9ubJEjdxt— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 5, 2020
The conference announced it would shift to a conference-only schedule in mid-July, with every other major power conference following suit. Penn State's scheduled home games with Kent State and San Jose State were shelved as a result, as well as the first-ever matchup between Penn State and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The two schools are scheduled to meet in Beaver Stadium in 2025.
With each of the Power 5 leagues now going with a conference-only slate, Group of 5 schools are scrambling to fill up their schedules. Early-season "buy-games" usually bring in a good portion of the school's athletics profits, so leagues like the Sun Belt are allowing its member schools to schedule a handful of non-conference games to recoup some of the losses. As of now, Big Ten schools are unable to schedule any non-conference games for the 2020 season.
It is still possible that the Big Ten will postpone the season to the spring or cancel it as a whole. A handful of star players have already opted out of the season to begin preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, with Minnesota's Rashod Bateman being the biggest name in the Big Ten to announce the end of his collegiate career. Penn State's Micah Parsons is expected to announce his decision to opt out sometime on Wednesday.