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Thanksgiving begins among potential Big Ten schedule options discussed by the league


As pressure continues to mount on Big Ten decision makers to stop fall football, another option has been offered by league coaches. The Big Ten are considering a schedule that would begin Thanksgiving week as one of many options for when to resume playing college football, a league source confirmed to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

According to Dodd, several ideas were launched within the conference. Not all of them imply a start before January. League sources appear to be making accommodations for a potential debut earlier in 2020 if there is what has been called an “overnight” change in medical conditions, testing and contact tracing.

The Big Ten coaches came up with the idea for Thanksgiving, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which first signaled this potential advance. This would potentially give the Big Ten the ability to play 10-11 games in a season instead of eight if it started in January 2021.

It has already been reported that the league is planning to play its season in several dome-shaped stadiums this winter. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm also went into great detail about what a spring season might look like without too much of the next season in fall 2021.

The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West, and the MAC all decided earlier this month to cancel their fall schedules and turn to gaming in the spring of 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dodd notes that any change to an earlier start by the BIg ​​Ten would likely be seen by some as a surrender to pressure from players, parents and some coaches who are against a spring season. That would raise another question: what would have changed since August 11, when the league postponed all fall sports? How could the Big Ten be playing football in the fall and not other fall sports?

A start to Thanksgiving week would raise an additional question: why not start in early October and embark on an eight-week season, allowing the Big Ten to make the college football playoffs?

Either way, the Big Ten could find themselves in the awkward position of playing regular season games as the rest of college football gears up for the CFP National Championship, scheduled for Jan.11, 2021.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren reiterated last week that the conference has no plans to revisit the possibility of playing football this fall. Any decision should be made by the Presidents of the Big Ten. Given the league’s concerns about safety and the general uncertainty of leading a season in the coronavirus pandemic, it would take a massive medical breakthrough for it to change its mind.

the Sentinel JournalThe FDA report notes that the FDA recently granted emergency approval for a rapid antigen test designed by Abbott Labs, which is said to be inexpensive ($ 5), fast (15-minute turnaround time) and no would not need to be sent to a lab. Frequent, accurate, fast and – if possible – cost-effective testing would be helpful for conferences trying to navigate this season without a real bubble. But that’s also only part of the equation.

The Big Ten are surely looking at all options to get back to football when they can. Starting three months from now – although possible, given that coaches wouldn’t need more than a month of practice – would signal a massive and unexpected reversal of his tenacious position.

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