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The Big Ten is expected to announce it will use a conference-only schedule for the upcoming college football season, becoming the first Power 5 school to change its schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Ten to use conference-only schedule for 2020 college football season

Just days after Rutgers University president Jonathan Holloway said the Big Ten would soon decide the fate of its college football season, the conference is set to announce a dramatic change on Thursday.

The Big Ten will use a conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season, the decision coming just a day after Ohio State suspended voluntary workouts due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Following the recent spike in cases of the coronavirus across the United States, a majority of FBS athletic directors expected the football schedule to be delayed.

Once the decision becomes official, it will have immediate ramifications on the College Football Playoff and other Power 5 conferences. Ohio State was scheduled to play Oregon on Sept. 12, the Michigan Wolverines were set for a season-opening game against the Washington Huskies and Wisconsin would have played Notre Dame on Oct. 3.

The new schedule means the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry will not be held this year. The two teams have battled for the Cy-Hawk Trophy 67 times, with Iowa winning the last five contests. It will mark the first tiem the two haven’t face each other since 1976.

While the move isn’t as drastic as the Ivy League’s announcement, canceling fall sports, the domino effect is starting to play out across the country. It also comes at a time when there is increased momentum to move the college football season to spring 2021.

As a result of the conference’s decision, each Big 10 program will play this season with a 10-game schedule.