The domino effect may have just begun. Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten became the first Power 5 conference to announce that they would play a conference only schedule this fall. That is, if college football is played at all in the fall.
Big Ten Statement on 2020-21 Fall Season:https://t.co/KLjc4mA47h— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) July 9, 2020
For Penn State this means no non-conference home match ups against Kent State and San Jose State. This, of course, also officially cancels what was supposed to be a trip to Lane Stadium to play Virginia Tech in week 2 in what was one of the most highly anticipated non-conference games of the James Franklin Era.
With the plan now for Big Ten teams to play 10 conference games in the fall, schedules will need to be changed. While we do not yet know what Penn State’s schedule will look like, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN has reported that the Big Ten is going to front load the schedule with divisional games. The conference will look to do this as the divisional games carry extra importance, and this would be done in an effort to get those games played before any potential interruptions in play.
If this is the direction the Big Ten goes, Penn State’s first five games would be some combination of Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland, and Rutgers. Personally, I could get on board with the idea of Penn State hosting Ohio State to start the season. Defense is always ahead of offense when the season starts, so the Nittany Lions may be able to get the Buckeye offense before it hits its top gear in that scenario.
But for now, we remain in wait and see mode as to what Penn State’s schedule will look like this fall. If there even is Penn State football this fall.