The return of Big Ten football begins tonight and you can hear it all on 1440 WROK. 

The Wisconsin Badgers will host Illinois tonight. Pregame begins at 6, kickoff will take place shortly after 7.

Many thought this day might not come just a few weeks ago and they're definitely not out of the woods yet. Each conference team is scheduled to play 8 regular-season games and 1 "championship" game. There are no breaks or byes built into the schedule so any sort of COVID outbreak on a team will leave the conference with no options other than to cancel a game.

This has caused the Big Ten to have to plan for an unbalanced schedule, which leads to rules like this:

ESPN - If a game is canceled, it won't count as a win or loss for either team. Because of the league's truncated schedule, there is no flexibility or bye weeks built in, so conference officials have accounted for the possibility of unbalanced schedules in their lengthy tiebreaker policy. It is similar to that of the Pac-12, which was released earlier this week.

If the average number of Big Ten games falls below six, then teams must play no less than two fewer conference games than the average number of Big Ten games played by all teams to be considered for the league championship. The champion will be determined in each division by its winning percentage, unless there is an unbalanced schedule because of the cancellation of games.

I've read that paragraph 4 times and don't have any idea what it means.

As of now, Friday afternoon, the Illini-Badger is still scheduled to take place tonight. The rest of the Big Ten slate plays on Saturday and looks like this:

  • Nebraska at #5 Ohio State - 11AM
  • Rutgers at Michigan State - 11AM
  • #8 Penn State at Indiana - 2:30PM
  • Iowa at Purdue - 2:30PM
  • # 18 Michigan at #21 Minnesota - 6:30PM
  • Maryland at Northwestern - 6:30PM