The Big Ten could start the football season the week of Thanksgiving.
The report says the conference’s coaches have started to discuss the possibility of starting that week. The season would start in late November and feature at least eight conference games with the season concluding in late January. If the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting things, and they aren’t able to play then, they could always push it back to the January start date.
ESPN confirmed those discussions have taken place but the plan of starting in early January is still getting the most attention.
Sources: A start date around Thanksgiving weekend is among the options the #B1G is discussing for the 2020/21 season, as @jaypo1961 first reported. Early January start still getting the most attention. Several coaches have told me a top priority is not altering fall 2021 season.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 28, 2020
The January plan would also reportedly be eight games against conference opponents with the season concluding in late February and the Big Ten title game being played in early March. That game could possibly take place at the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin tackle Cole Van Lanen was not happy with the decision by the conference to postpone the season but did sound intrigued with the potential for a winter season.
“I kind of like the concept and what they’re thinking about right now,” Van Lanen said recently. “I know other guys do, too. We’re pretty pumped for it.”
Earlier this month the Big Ten postponed all fall sports due to concerns around the virus. While certain schools continue to push back on that decision — eight Nebraska players are suing the conference to reinstate the fall season — commissioner Kevin Warren has said the vote by conference presidents and chancellors was overwhelmingly in favor of postponing and the decision won’t be revisited.