Big Ten: What will the conference schedule look like?

Big Ten: What will the conference schedule look like?
FILE: Head coach Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after winning the Big Ten Championship against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

With the Big Ten Conference announcing Wednesday to play fall football starting in October, the conference will begin working on creating the schedule for the 14 member teams.

The conference announced the season will resume Oct. 23 and 24, with each team playing an “eight game plus one” schedule. The schedule will comprise of eight games for each team that will be outline in the released schedule. Each team will then play in a ninth game, that will be determined based on final seedings in the East and West divisions, Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin Director of Athletics and leader of the conference scheduling subcommittee said during a press conference aired on the Big Ten Network.

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In that ninth game, now dubbed the “Champions Week” the winners of the East and West divisions will face-off for the Big Ten Championship. The other twelve teams will play each other based on their finishing order in the standings; second placed teams in the divisions playing each other, third place, and so on down to the seventh placed teams.

Teams will not have a bye week and the ninth games of the season, including the Big Ten Championship, will be played on December 18 and 19.

Alvarez said the conference plans to release the schedule for the eight games sometime this week.

In August before the conference initially postponed the season, they released a schedule. However it’s not known how that schedule might influence the new schedule that will be released this week.

In that initial schedule, Ohio State started on the road at Illinois and, in a surprise and somewhat controversial move, would not play their annual rival Michigan in the last regular season game.

Teams will be allowed to start practicing immediately. Since the conference postponed the season, Ohio State continued workouts and non-padded practices, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said during an OSU news conference.

The Big Ten athletic directors are expected to approve an agreement that will allow for 20 hours of practice a week, which is the normal number of hours in a normal year, Smith said.