9: 03 AM ET
Adam RittenbergESPN Senior Writer
- Faculty soccer reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
- Graduate of Northwestern College.
The Mountainous Ten will play a 10-game, conference-most practical attainable soccer agenda that begins Labor Day weekend and contains huge flexibility, the league introduced Wednesday morning.
Each crew has two provoke weeks, and the agenda has 4 weeks in-constructed to reschedule video video games, together with a leaguewide provoke week on Nov. 28. The model permits for opening video video games on the weekend of Sept. 3-5 to be moved to Sept. 12, Sept. 19 or Sept. 26 “by strategic sequencing.”
The smooth season is set to wrap up Nov. 21, and the league championship recreation is set for Dec. 5 with the talent to motion help to as unhurried as Dec. 19.
The soccer agenda begins as early as a result of the weekend of Sept. 5 with last video video games slated for Nov. 21 to align with educational calendars. The Mountainous Ten Soccer Championship Sport stays scheduled for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium, although it’ll more than likely more than likely per likelihood properly moreover very properly be moved as unhurried as Dec. 19. pic.twitter.com/vWp3OSifBc
— Mountainous Ten Conference (@bigten) August 5, 2020
Michigan and Ohio Utter will face every a quantity of Oct. 24 — the primary time since 1942 that the rivals is now not going to play on the pause of the smooth season. The Indiana-Purdue recreation, pitting rivals from reverse divisions, will take recount Nov. 21.
Mountainous Ten groups can provoke preseason teaching camp Friday or earlier, trying on the date of their first recreation. Ohio Utter will provoke camp Thursday.
Commissioner Kevin Warren, in an interview with Mountainous Ten Group, reiterated that there’s “no guarantee” that sports activities actions shall be performed this topple for the size of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’d be purely speculation for me to take a seat down right here this day and disclose that right here is the percent chance I deem we are going to maintain a season,” Warren recommended BTN. “I seek forward to confidently sooner or later having the skill to flip around and disclose that we did the entire lot we may possibly well additionally within the Mountainous Ten to maintain our student-athletes wholesome and safe.”
The agenda permits for 41 of the 70 video video games to be moved to an provoke week, and choices two groupings of weeks. Scheduling flexibility grew to become central to the selection to motion up typical unhurried-season opponents video video games treasure Michigan-Ohio Utter.
“That Ohio Utter-Michigan game, whereas or no longer it’s currently scheduled on Oct. 24, it has the skill to be rescheduled to Nov. 14, Nov. 28 or, if the football championship game is pushed lend a hand, it will most likely most likely per chance well additionally very well be scheduled on [Dec. 5 or Dec. 12] to boot,” assistant commissioner Kerry Kenny recommended ESPN. “It grew to become one factor we had been entrance and coronary heart about and requested the full athletic administrators: ‘Is that this one factor, if it permits us to keep extra flexibility to motion issues round if wished, you might be OK to keep these video video games be positioned in a sure half than after they most frequently could probably properly be performed?’
“The acknowledge all of the plan by which by the board from them grew to become: ‘Let’s try to let’s keep flexibility as a result of the precept focal degree of this yr’s agenda. We’ll regulate to the outcomes of what that flexibility offers as quickly as or now not it is in there.'”
The primary and final week of the smooth season will attribute fully unsuitable-division video video games. Week 10 (Nov. 7) will attribute fully East Division video video games relatively then for Illinois at Rutgers, and Week 11 (Nov. 14) will attribute West Division video video games.
The Mountainous Ten on the origin conception to be entrance-loading its agenda with division video video games. However, attributable to the unusual sequence of groups in every division, it decided to provoke the season with unsuitable-division video video games as a change. In including a 10th league recreation, the Mountainous Ten did now not want unsuitable-division opponents that groups had been already house to face in 2021.
Loads of division video video games, together with Michigan Utter at Michigan on Oct. 3, will take recount on the equal web site as 2019 to improve whole flexibility for the agenda, Kenny talked about. The websites will shift in 2021 as a customary house-and-house rotation resumes.
“Every individual has a bye in Weeks 5, 6 or 7, and one and all has a bye in both [Week] 10 or 11,” Kenny mentioned. “The flips, and staunch the talent to keep the divisional video video games basically unfold for the size of that center half of the season, basically gave us the chance, if we want to, to motion a singular recreation out of a specific week into one among these bye weeks attributable to a rescheduling route of. That’s the flexibleness that I am speaking about.”
The Mountainous Ten additionally introduced medical protocols, together with twice-weekly trying out for COVID-19. The league will use a 3rd-celebration laboratory to habits centralized trying out and “consistency in surveillance and pre-opponents trying out.”
“From a science perspective, a medical perspective and likewise — to an unimaginable lesser extent, nonetheless one which wanted to be conception to be — a aggressive perspective, how will we assure that one and all is on equal footing, by way of the minimal requirements for trying out?” Kenny mentioned. “We deem that units us as a lot as keep a relentless method.”
The Mountainous Ten on July 9 grew to become the primary FBS conference to ticket a complete scheduling model, asserting that each of its topple sports activities actions, together with soccer, would function with a league-most practical attainable slate. However the league had held off on asserting specifics for soccer because it evaluated medical data concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
Maryland introduced Wednesday that it grew to become on the brink of supply the season with out spectators in attendance, nonetheless “it is miles our hope that we could probably properly moreover probably welcome some followers to house video video games as a result of the season progresses and properly being situations allow.”