When Will "The Game" Be Played?


As we've waited for the COVID-19 revised Big Ten football schedules, fans of Ohio State and Michigan have seen the reports indicating that the annual rivalry game would not be in its traditional place at the end of the regular season. Reports circulated last week that Big Ten administrators were planning to front load the schedule with division games. The idea being that if a COVID-19 outbreak would force an early game to be rescheduled or games at the end of the season to be dropped, it would be most important to make sure the games against division opponents were played. According to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, who reported the front-loaded schedule last week, things have changed.

If indeed, the conference has changed course, it looks like "The Game" may remain in its traditional place, as the regular season finale for both schools. We should find out soon. Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Big Ten schedules will be released sometime on Tuesday. In today's climate, however, it seems nothing is certain. On Monday, Northwestern became at least the sixth program in the Big Ten to halt workouts due to positive coronavirus tests.

According to reports, the Wildcats are suspending practice until at least Wednesday. Last month, Ohio State was forced to pause off-season workouts for six days after positive tests. Other Big Ten programs that have had workouts interrupted by COVID-19 include Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland and Rutgers.

The Rutgers situation appears to be the most serious. Workouts there have been on hold for nearly two weeks and according to New Jersey.com, the situation is getting worse, not better.

The report from Keith Sargeant indicates that both players and football staff members at Rutgers are infected and the number of positive tests has risen from 15 to 28 in the last week. That news came on the eve of when the Big Ten schedule release was expected. It's unclear if the latest Rutgers news will affect the league's schedule release plans.