Wisconsin Updated 2020 Football Schedule Released
If the season is to commence, schools within the league are scheduled to play 10 games that is currently set up to start on the week of Sept. 3-5. A cross-divisional contest was added to each of their slates.
For Wisconsin, that means it is scheduled to face its six Big Ten West divisional opponents, but also four cross-divisional foes. Rutgers was added for a home contest on Nov. 21.
Indiana, Maryland and Michigan -- all Big Ten East schools previously booked for the 2020 slate -- are still on the docket.
Here is the full schedule:
- Sept. 4: Indiana
- Sept. 12: At Northwestern
- Sept. 19: At Nebraska
- Sept. 26: Minnesota
- Oct. 3: At Maryland
- Oct. 10: Purdue
- Oct. 17: Bye
- Oct. 24: Illinois
- Oct. 31: At Michigan
- Nov. 7: Bye
- Nov. 14: At Iowa
- Nov. 21: Rutgers
Previously, Wisconsin was supposed to play Nebraska inside Camp Randall Stadium while going out to West Lafayette to take on Purdue. Now, the Badgers will face the Huskers inside Memorial Stadium in Lincoln but host the Boilermakers.
Yahoo.com's Pete Thamel also published the schedule around the same time the conference unveiled their plans on Wednesday morning.
As noted and emphasized on the Big Ten Network, the one word used often was flexibility. As seen verbatim in the release by the conference from Wednesday morning:
*The plan is for Big Ten institutions to play a 10-game Conference-only schedule including the nine current opponents and one additional cross-division game
*The schedule starts as early as the weekend of Sept. 5 with final games slated for Nov. 21 to align with academic calendars
*The 10 games would be played over at least 12 weeks with each team having two open dates
*The schedule is structured to maximize flexibility:
**Games can be collapsed into bye weeks
**Uniform bye week on Nov. 28
**Cross-division games are currently scheduled for all schools in Week 1 (Sept. 5) and Week 12 (Nov. 21)
**Schedule constructed in a way that allows season to start as early as the weekend of Sept. 5, but also provides the ability to move the start of the season back to Sept. 12, 19 or 26 through strategic sequencing that allows games to be moved to a latter part of the schedule
*Big Ten Football Championship Game remains scheduled for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, though it could be moved as late as Dec. 19
*Teams can begin preseason practices on Friday, Aug. 7, or earlier if permitted under NCAA guidelines related to first dates of scheduled competition
Within the release, the league also unveiled its "Big Ten Conference COVID-19 Medical Protocols Executive Summary." One of the many notes to point out -- "sports with high contact risk will be required to test a minimum of twice weekly."
The protocols also state that all of the sports are mandated to test for COVID-19 at least once per week, and all "required testing" of student-athletes will be administered via polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
In July, the Big Ten announced that its fall sports programs would face off against conference opponents only. That meant Wisconsin's previously-scheduled contests against Appalachian State, Southern Illinois and Notre Dame were canceled.
Within the Big Ten's release on Wednesday, it also provided a reminder that "issuing a schedule does not guarantee that competition will occur." The conference stated the following in the second paragraph of its announcement:
While our strategy is to continue planning for all fall sports, if the virus continues to spread among our students despite our many preventative measures, including testing and quarantine protocols, we are also prepared to delay or cancel competition pursuant to local and state public health orders or the recommendations of our medical experts. As Commissioner Kevin Warren has consistently stated, our country is navigating unprecedented times and throughout all decisions, the health and safety of our students, student-athletes, and everyone associated with our Big Ten university communities remains our primary focus as we work with our institutions to provide a healthy and productive learning environment that includes intercollegiate athletic competition.
Stay tuned to AllBadgers.com for updates to this article and more analysis on the new schedule.