Ohio State marching band against Oregon State
Sep 1, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Brutus Buckeye conducts the Ohio State Marching Band during the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten rocked the foundation of the college football world on Thursday, announcing that it would play a conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season.

This comes on the heels of increasing concerns that season might not even take place this fall due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If the season is played, one team is seen as the odds-on favorite to earn the conference title.

Ohio State overwhelming favorite after Big Ten goes to conference-only schedule

The numbers are eye-opening, per Sports Betting Dime.

  • Ohio State: +105
  • Wisconsin: +450
  • Penn State: +600
  • Michigan: +1900
  • Minnesota: +3400

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines being at +1900 is perhaps the most noteworthy item here. Michigan was expected to take on Washington, Ball State and Arkansas State in their non-conference schedule before going up against Big Ten competition. That’s no longer going to be the case.

Ohio State doubles as national title contenders

The Buckeyes being favored is not a huge surprise. The difference between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten is certainly a major surprise.

Ohio State was slated to take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene on Sept. 12 in what would have been one of the biggest games on the schedule. The Associated Press preseason poll has Ohio State ranked fifth with Oregon coming in 11th.

Will the 2020 college football season be played at all?

That’s now the major question. The Ivy League canceling its season was the first shoe to drop. Now with this news from the Big Ten, the expectation is that others are going to go with conference-only schedules. If that doesn’t work, postponing the season until next spring becomes the likeliest scenario.

Interestingly enough, the team that could be most impacted by Thursday’s Big Ten news is Notre Dame. It’s an independent. As such, every game the Irish plays would be a non-conference battle. Their Oct. 3 game against Wisconsin has already obviously been canceled.