It appears another Power 5 conference has entered the 2020 college football season as the Big 10 reverses course on their decision not to play due to COVID-19.

As first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Big 10 conference will begin playing an 8 game conference only football season the weekend of October 23-24, then play a Big 10 Championship game on December 19th.

The Big 10 has now released an official announcement, citing rapid testing as the key to their decision to reverse course.

“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee in a statement. “The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”

While rapid testing helps, the significant loss of projected revenue undoubtedly was a major factor in the decision for the Big 10 to play football in 2020, though they're unlikely to admit it.

“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”

Expect changes to the Top 25 polls next Sunday, as a number of Big 10 schools will re-enter the rankings.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app