Big Ten Set to Unveil 2020 Schedule Saturday Morning
The Big Ten's 2020 fall schedule will be revealed on Saturday at 10 AM on FOX Sports during the edition of Big Noon Kickoff. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, Ohio State coach Ryan Day and Penn State coach James Franklin will also be featured in Saturday's two-hour pregame special.
The news comes three days after the Big Ten's official announcement for the return of fall sports. The added comfort surrounding testing and enhanced protocols to move forward with a season as fans awaited the new eight-game schedule, but the news comes hours after Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green told reporters. “we anticipate it will be released early in the week.”
“If it's a little earlier than that, don't get me wrong it could happen this weekend, but I sort of doubt it, that we'll probably see it in the first of the week,” he added. Green added Big Ten needed to iron out new TV agreements ahead of a formal announcement but in the meantime, schools in the Big Ten and beyond are working through spikes in testing in the opening weeks of fall semester. The Diamondback reported on Friday that 200 students at Denton Hall at the University of Maryland were asked to quarantine following 23 positive COVID-19 cases. The Big Ten expressed confidence in the testing and protocols in place for the new nine-week, nine-game schedule as Glen Mason of the Big Ten Network joined Glen Clark Radio on Friday to highlight how teams will have to adapt through the 2020 season.
“I think there’s two issues there, one is the safety because of the pandemic that’s out there and the other is, as you mentioned, a grueling schedule right there,” Mason said. “I think the real challenge is going to be from a coaching perspective besides getting ready to play those teams is encouraging your players or restricting your players to make sure they don’t get infected from the regular population. We’re talking about college kids, there’s a lot going on in a college kid’s life besides just football and there’s a lot of activities, educationally and socially.”
The Big Ten now faces a new complication Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman has reversed his decision and intends to return to the Gophers, despite signing with an agent. Mason highlighted the “extenuating circumstances” surrounding the college football world with swirling updates each day as coaches, players and administration adapt along the way. Head coach Mike Locksley has reinforced to his team that “the team that is able to adjust, the team that is able to be fluid will be the team that when the gates open, as I like to say to our team will be prepared to go out and do the best job we can.”
What the Terps can control is play through fall camp and a key storyline heading into the 2020 season will surround the quarterback battle between Lance Legendre and Taulia Tagovailoa. Mason noted the Terps’ unfortunate injury history at quarterback, adding “when you look at recent history, I think that has had some quarterbacks, they just couldn’t keep them healthy.” Maryland will enter with just a pair of scholarship underclassmen, but Mason is confident in Locksley’s direction for the program.
“I’m a big fan of Mike Locksley, I think he’s a good guy that’s going to get that program to where everybody at the University of Maryland is very, very excited about that program. Mike has always had a reputation as a recruiter deluxe but he’s a darn good football coach also. I really thought he’d bring more stability to that program quicker last year and it didn’t work out that way but I think recruiting a quarterback of this caliber is only the start of what he’s going to do there and once he gets the going, wins some games and everybody starts buying into the Mike Locksley program, I see very good things happening at Maryland.”
Maryland's 2020 Previously-Released Schedule (August 5)
September 5: @ Iowa
September 12: Michigan State
September 19: Rutgers
September 26: @ Northwestern
October 3: Wisconsin
October 10: Bye
October 17: @ Penn State
October 24: @ Indiana
October 31: Ohio State
November 7: @ Michigan
November 14: Bye
November 21: Minnesota