The monthlong postponement, or was it a pause, of Big Ten football is over.
Conference games are scheduled to begin the weekend of Oct. 24. A byeless, eight-game regular season will be followed by “Champions Week” — or the league championship game and a slew of interdivisional Big Ten matchups.
But first football players, coaches and other staff will be tested daily starting no later Sept. 30. Multiple Big Ten student bodies and football programs have dealt with varying degrees of outbreaks this spring, but developments in testing spurred confidence in conference leaders. The teams have five weeks to prepare.
The full schedule is expected to be released this week.
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Big Ten 2020 fall schedule
Sept. 16: Conference announces fall football resumes.
Sept. 30: Deadline for each team to implement daily testing.
Oct. 24: Conference kickoff.
Dec. 19: Champions Week, featuring Big Ten championship game and six interdivisional matchups.
Dec. 20: Expected announce date of College Football Playoff.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Big Ten fall schedule: Kickoff, championship game dates
TV schedule, key stats, Goodyear tires and more
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for the Round of 12 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET (NCBSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Before this weekend‘s Sin City showcase, check out a few important things to know.
RELATED: Full Las Vegas schedule | Paint Scheme Preview
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval located in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada. First opened in 1996, the track is relatively new compared to many on the current circuit, but it still has its share of electric history. Adopted by NASCAR‘s premier series in 1998, Mark Martin powered his way to the first ever victory at the track — and in its 25-race history, no one has more wins than Jimmie Johnson (four).
Las Vegas boasts an asphalt racing surface with 20-degree banking in the turns and 9- to 12-degree baking in the straights.
Stage 1 will end at Lap 80, Stage 2 at Lap 160 and the Final Stage at Lap 267.
Playoff points leader Kevin Harvick will wheel the No. 4 Steward-Haas Ford out in front of the field Sunday, earning his fifth Busch Pole Award of the season and second of the playoffs. Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola and Joey Logano complete the top five.
The lineup was determined by four performance metrics from the Cup Series‘ previous race: 15% based on fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver‘s final race finish position, 25% of the owner‘s final race position and 35% of the owner points position.
RELATED: Full starting lineup | Pit-stall assignments
Cup Series cars will feature the same 1.5-mile racing package used in 2019 and the 2020 spring Vegas race, with aero ducts and a tapered-spacer engine generating a targeted 550 horsepower.
Each Cup team will have nine sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for the race.
With limited on-track practice time and testing, Goodyear Racing has relied even more heavily on feedback from the drivers and their teams to develop an effective compound at each track. After receiving this feedback at the conclusion of the first half of the season, changes were made to the right-side compound for a series of tracks, starting this weekend at Las Vegas. Increased grip at tracks with lower tire wear will be an increased focus with the new compound to allow optimum performance.
“Key to making the optimum tire recommendation is the review of all the data that is generated, whether it be from practices throughout a weekend, testing, or as is the only opportunity right now, from the actual races,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear‘s director of racing. “What we‘ve seen and heard at several of the low-wear tracks, is the Cup cars could stand to have a little more grip, so we have made a step in that direction for Las Vegas, as well as Kansas and Texas. Vegas and Texas shared the same tire set-up at their earlier races, and we brought that same right-side to Kansas as well, so they have been basically aligned all season. They remain so with this new right side as we enhance the grip level at all three.”
PLAYOFF STATS TO KNOW
— Kevin Harvick holds the longest active streak of NASCAR Playoffs victories with nine consecutive seasons featuring at least one trip to Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson is the all-time record holder at 13 in a row.
— Ford dominated the Round of 16, winning each of the three races: Kevin Harvick winning twice (Darlington Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway) and Brad Keselowski once (Richmond Raceway).
— Only two of the 163 NASCAR Playoffs races were won by drivers getting their first win: Clint Bowyer in 2007 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Brian Vickers in 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway.
— Nine of the remaining playoff drivers have wins at tracks in the Round of 12, but only six of them have ever made it to the Championship 4.
Source: Racing Insights
For a more interactive experience, head over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR app to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner (which is FREE for both races) and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).
Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the NASCAR Finish Line App.
2019 RACE WINNER
Martin Truex Jr. sped away from Kevin Harvick in last year‘s playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Truex and the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team put forth an exceptional effort all afternoon, charging forward from a 24th starting position and leading 32 laps to secure their fifth checkered flag of the season.
RELATED: Vegas odds, lines
ACTIVE LAS VEGAS WINNERS
Jimmie Johnson (four wins); Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski (three each); Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano (two each); Kyle Busch (one).
PSG preparing to pull out of negotiations to sign Dele Alli on season-long loan
Paris Saint-Germain are preparing to pull out of negotiations to sign Dele Alli on a season-long loan.
It is understood that the financial terms to sign the midfielder are proving to be prohibitive for the Champions League finalists despite them being encouraged to enter negotiations.
After the initial talks, PSG had been left feeling confident that they could agree a deal for Alli with Tottenham Hotspur but that optimism has dwindled in the past 48 hours.
PSG were only interested in taking the 24-year-old on loan and believed a deal could be struck and that the England international was keen on the move.
Inter Milan have also expressed an interest in Alli, who has been left angry and confused by his recent omissions from the squad by Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho.
It is now appearing increasingly likely that Alli will stay at Spurs despite the midfielder having expressed an interest to leave to try and kickstart his career.
Mourinho has told Alli it is up to him to try to get back in the team rescue and insisted he is “convinced” the midfielder will stay at the club in this transfer window.
Alli has been restored to Mourinho’s travelling squad for Tottenham’s trip to Macedonia to face Shkendija in the Europa League this evening, having been left out of the previous two squads.
Asked if Alli will be at Spurs by the end of the transfer window, head coach Mourinho told Sky Sports: “I believe (he will). I can even say that I’m convinced that he will be.”
Ahead of the Europa League tie, Mourinho added: “There is a tendency now when a player performs or the player doesn’t perform, to give responsibilities on coaches, some because they gave him the right love, some because they gave him the right stick.
“I always feel that 99 per cent of the responsibility is the player. I have one per cent. Me and my staff and the people that work with the players every day, we have one per cent of the responsibility. It is 99 per cent that belongs to them.”
Mourinho refused to talk about his exchanges with Alli, during which he warned him how quickly a career can pass, and his discussions with chairman Daniel Levy about the player’s form in the Amazon documentary.
Pat Riley not going anywhere, and I’m not replacing him with Heat if he does
Dwyane Wade said Wednesday that he envisions Pat Riley continuing on with the work he has done as Miami Heat president no matter the result of these NBA playoffs, and that even if the job became vacant, it is not one he would pursue.
Asked if championship success could bring the Riley era to a close after a quarter century of stewardship of the Heat, Wade said on 790-The Ticket that he sees the 75-year-old icon as game for more.
“I don’t think so,” Wade said of Riley moving on after a potential fourth championship under his Heat watch this postseason. “I think we’re going to have to roll him out.
“Look, I’ve heard him say a lot of things over my time. He said he wanted to build a team to get back to the championship. I see Riley just being there. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t eventually come in.”
Wade said the Heat is so closely identified with the Riley way that there is no clear successor.
“Like, who’s next?” Wade said. “Who’s going to be the next person to be president of the team? They got to get to that point where they start molding somebody. Because I don’t think they’re going to bring anybody in from the outside. So it has to be somebody inside.
“So who’s next? I don’t know if they’re molded someone yet or not.”
Wade retired from the Heat at the end of 2018-19, but has remained in contact with several of the players in the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. He sees Riley maintaining at least that level of contact, if not more, even if there comes a point of downsizing his role.
“I think he’s going to still be around,” Wade said. “His office is going to still be his office. And even if he’s not in that position, he’s still going to come into practice every day. This is his life. This is what he loves. This is him. I don’t see him going anywhere.”
Wade then was quick to remove his name from any succession plan.
“I live in California, man,” he said. “I’m out here right now.”
Wade has been credited with being the influence that helped deliver fellow Marquette alum and former Chicago Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler to the Heat during the 2019 offseason in free agency. But he said he has no designs on being a personnel guru.
“Listen,” he said, “I’ve sent Pat over the years a lot of people that like, ‘Ooh, I think this guy is going to be good.’ Let me just say that I’m glad that Jimmy worked out. Because a lot of them didn’t work out. You just never heard of ’em.”
As for the business of basketball, Wade said that exceeds his basketball scope.
“When it comes to being president, you’ve got to learn that business,” he said. “I can text Riley and say, ‘Hey, I like this player. You should look at him.’
“This goes way bigger than that. You’ve got to know so much about the business. As players, we don’t know about all that. I don’t want that life right now.”
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