Big Ten now considering Thanksgiving Weekend start to college football season

Big Ten conference logo on football field
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten surprised everyone earlier in August when the Power Five conference announced that it was canceling the 2020 college football season this fall.

While the conference did leave open the possibility of playing winter ball in January, there was not much talk about playing this year. That’s now changed after major push back from Big Ten athletes and some parents.

Big Ten now considering starting college football season Thanksgiving Weekend

“According to two college football people familiar with the Big Ten, those talks have generated a new option, starting a Big Ten season of at least eight games the week of Thanksgiving. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter,” Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

Coaches and teams are reportedly working on a revised eight-game schedule of games that would be played indoors. A bubble-like atmosphere like we’re seeing with the NBA right now is being given consideration, too. That would most likely be in Indianapolis.

This news comes on the heels of the FDA granting emergency approval of a new rapid COVID-19 test that would cost a mere $5 and provides results within 15 minutes without samples having to be sent to labs. This could certainly be a game changer.

Although, the Big Ten’s current ongoing conversations do raise some major questions as it relates to the broader college football world.

How will the 2020 college football season look?

Let’s say the Big Ten decides to start its eight-game season in late November. Obviously, the season itself wouldn’t conclude until late January or early February. With the ACC, SEC and Big 12 all slated to begin their seasons within the next month, the logistics are worrisome.

Primarily, when would bowl games and the College Football Playoff take place? The Big Ten can’t realistically ask for those three other conferences to wait almost two months from the time their regular seasons end to bowl games and the championship round taking place.

SEC football schedule

Let’s take Alabama as an example. The Crimson Tide are slated to open their season Sept. 26 against Missouri with their regular-season finale coming Dec. 5. Sure the SEC Championship Game is still being planned for one week later, but this is a major concern.

There’s also issues as it relates to NFL Draft prospects. If the Big Ten season were to conclude in early February, that would not give said prospects much time to prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Some big-name prospects within the conference have already opted out of the 2020 season altogether.

This will certainly be something to pay attention to as these three other conferences begin their seasons in less than a month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.