This morning, the Big Ten announced it’s conference only schedule with the intention of utilizing open dates later in the year while also adding a 10th conference game in the form of a 4th crossover opponent. For Rutgers, Wisconsin has been added, while Illinois, Purdue, and Nebraska remain their previously planned Big Ten West opponents. In addition, the medical protocols have been updated in regard to how the conference will handle issues with COVID-19.
The revised Rutgers Football schedule is as follows:
9/5 vs. Nebraska
9/12 at Ohio State
9/19 at Maryland
9/26 vs. Michigan
10/3 vs. Penn State
10/17 at Purdue
10/24 at Michigan State
10/31 vs. Indiana
11/7 vs. Illinois
11/21 at Wisconsin
11/28 OPEN (Bye week for all teams)
The entire Big Ten grid can be found here.
There was expectation the league would front load divisional games so they could be rescheduled if required and would be more likely to be played. For Rutgers, this is mostly true as their six divisional opponents are slated to be completed by Halloween with Nebraska and Purdue sprinkled in during September and October. This makes sense considering Wisconsin and Illinois are on the 2021 schedule, so we will see them in the next year even if adjustments prior to November need to be made.
Adding Wisconsin is a tough draw, but most prognosticators would agree on paper Minnesota, Iowa, and the Badgers are the cream of the crop in the western division. RU did see Minnesota and Iowa last fall, so the hope would have been to see a lesser Northwestern squad instead. With so many variables in 2020 including the lack of spring practice, abbreviated training camp, and professional sports functioning almost on a week to week basis, let’s just hope everyone stays as healthy as possible and we get to see sports sooner rather than later.
Also note, teams can begin preseason practices on Friday, Aug. 7, or earlier if permitted under NCAA guidelines related to first dates of scheduled competition. Rutgers remains off the field however with the recent uptick in positive tests for Covid-19.