Big Ten confirms it will go with a conference-only football schedule in 2020

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The first big domino, by way of the Big Ten, has unofficially fallen.  Check that: massive domino.

When the Ivy League announced Wednesday that all fall sports, including football, had been postponed until at last the end of the fall semester, it felt like the optimism for a normal 2020 schedule was waning.  The most noteworthy program thus far, Ohio State, halting workouts because of a COVID-19 spike just added to the pessimism.

Thursday afternoon, OSU’s league, the Big Ten, is confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.

“By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic,” the league stated.

“This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.”

At this point, it’s unclear what impact this move would have on the College Football Playoffs and bowl games.

Suffice to say, this edict, which will more than likely be followed by other Power Five conferences, will have a significant effect on the schedule.  Below are just some of the Power Five games that will be impacted by the Big Ten nixing non-conference games:

  • Iowa-Iowa State
  • Maryland-West Virginia
  • Michigan-Washington
  • Michigan State-Miami
  • Ohio State-Oregon
  • Penn State-Virginia Tech
  • Purdue-Boston College
  • Rutgers-Syracuse
  • Wisconsin-Notre Dame (at Lambeau Field)

BYU, meanwhile, has two games scheduled against B1G opponents, at Michigan State and at Minnesota.

Below are the non-conference schedules for each of the schools in the Big Ten conference:

ILLINOIS
09/04 – Illinois State
09/12 – UConn
09/19 – Bowling Green

INDIANA
09/12 – WKU
09/19 – Ball State
09/26 – at UConn

IOWA
09/05 – Northern Iowa
09/12 – Iowa State
09/26 – Northern Illinois

MARYLAND
09/05 – Towson
09/12 – Northern Illinois
09/19 – at West Virginia

MICHIGAN
09/05 – at Washington
09/12 – Ball State
09/19 – Arkansas State

MICHIGAN STATE
09/12 – at BYU
09/19 – Toledo
09/26 – Miami (FL)

MINNESOTA
09/03 – Florida Atlantic
09/12 – Tennessee Tech
09/26 – BYU

NEBRASKA
09/12 – Central Michigan
09/19 – South Dakota State
09/26 – Cincinnati

NORTHWESTERN
09/12 – Tulane
09/19 – Central Michigan
11/14 – Morgan State

OHIO STATE
09/05 – Bowling Green
09/12 – at Oregon
09/19 – Buffalo

PENN STATE
09/05 – Kent State
09/12 – at Virginia Tech
09/19 – San Jose State

PURDUE
09/12 – Memphis
09/19 – Air Force
09/26 – at Boston College

RUTGERS
09/05 – Monmouth
09/12 – Syracuse
09/19 – at Temple

WISCONSIN
09/12 – Southern Illinois
09/19 – Appalachian State
10/03 – vs Notre Dame (in Green Bay, WI)

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.