The Big Ten could return sooner than it ever anticipated.
A little more than a month after postponing all fall sports and turning its attention to spring football, the Big Ten is expected to hold a vote in the next 72 hours on when and if the league will return to play, with Oct. 17 being presented as the earliest potential start date, according to Yahoo Sports.
The report states that the league’s return-to-competition task force and medical committee gave a presentation Saturday to eight Big Ten presidents and chancellors, who approved a formal pitch being made to the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors — a group of 14 — with focus on medical and safety issues, game scheduling and TV scheduling.
If the league could return by mid-October, the Big Ten could hold its championship game in late December, and potentially participate in the College Football Playoff. However, the conference could end up beginning play at a later date — late November through January — with Maryland and Wisconsin’s programs each currently not practicing due to COVID-19 cases.
The league postponed play last month with an 11-3 to vote, and sources told Yahoo Sports that the medical information would need to be “distinctly different” for the Big Ten to start play soon. The availability of cheap, rapid testing appears to be the biggest difference, though numerous games continue to be postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks on numerous teams.