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Big Ten football schedule 2020: What to know about season start date & more for conference’s return

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Big Ten football schedule 2020: What to know about season start date & more for conference's return

Big Ten football teams and fans no longer have to worry about the possibility of a spring season. The conference on Wednesday preserved a fall football schedule when it announced its reversal after previously determining such a season was too dangerous amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new football schedule for the Big Ten in 2020 is a better-late-than-never slate that will keep the conference in play for this season’s College Football Playoff. Now the Pac-12 is the only Power 5 conference that will not play football in the fall of 2020.

MORE: Everything to know about Big Ten’s reversal

The Big Ten football schedule in 2020 will be an abbreviated version of the schedule the conference released last month before it suspended the fall season. Though the conference will play fewer games than originally scheduled, the Big Ten championship game will still be played before the College Football Playoff pairings are announced.

Below is everything you need to know about the Big Ten football schedule in 2020 now that the conference is back in the college football fold.

Big Ten football schedule 2020

  • Start date: Oct. 23-24
  • Conference games per team: 8+1

This is a unique format, because all teams — not just those who play in the Big Ten championship game — will get to play an extra game on championship weekend.

Based on the divisional finish, each team will face its counterpart in the standings: No. 2 in East vs. No 2 in West, No. 3 in East vs. No. 3 in West, etc. The division winners obviously will play in the conference title game.

The eight-game regular season Big Ten football schedule in 2020 is a necessary reduction from the 10-game proposal the conference made in August before pulling the plug on the fall season. Because the plug was put back in so deep into October, the Big Ten needed to reduce that number.

With the Big Ten football schedule starting the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and spanning eight weeks, that sets the Big Ten championship game for Dec. 19, which is the day before the College Football Playoff teams will be decided.

When will the 2020 Big Ten football schedule be announced in full?

We’ll have clarity on the complete Big Ten football schedule for 2020 soon. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said an announcement on each team’s eight-game schedule is expected later this week.

Setting up eight-game schedules for all 14 teams in the conference is a challenge. While the previously announced 10-game schedules can be used as a blueprint for the new, eight-game schedules, much will need to change, especially now that bye weeks are out of the equation.

For reference, below are the team-by-team football schedules the Big Ten floated last month. It’s unclear how much change each team will see in its list of opponents, but we know the schedule will shrink by two games and include zero bye weeks.

Ohio State football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 3: at Illinois  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Rutgers  
  • Sept. 19: at Purdue  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Indiana  
  • Oct. 3: Bye  
  • Oct. 10: vs. Nebraska  
  • Oct. 17: at Michigan State  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Michigan  
  • Oct. 31: at Maryland  
  • Nov. 7: at Penn State  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Iowa 

Michigan football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: vs. Purdue  
  • Sept. 12: at Minnesota  
  • Sept. 19: vs. Penn State  
  • Sept. 26: at Rutgers  
  • Oct. 3: vs. Michigan State  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: at Indiana  
  • Oct. 24: at Ohio State  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Wisconsin  
  • Nov. 7: vs. Maryland  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: at Northwestern 

Michigan State football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: vs. Minnesota  
  • Sept. 12: at Maryland  
  • Sept. 19: vs. Northwestern  
  • Sept. 26: at Penn State  
  • Oct. 3: at Michigan  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: vs. Ohio State  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Rutgers 
  • Oct. 31: at Iowa  
  • Nov. 7: vs. Indiana  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: at Nebraska 

Wisconsin football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 4: vs. Indiana  
  • Sept. 12: at Northwestern  
  • Sept 19: at Nebraska  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Minnesota  
  • Oct. 3: at Maryland  
  • Oct. 10: vs. Purdue  
  • Oct. 17: Bye  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Illinois  
  • Oct. 31: at Michigan  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: at Iowa  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Rutgers

Penn State football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: vs. Northwestern  
  • Sept. 12: at Indiana  
  • Sept. 19: at Michigan  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Michigan State  
  • Oct. 3: at Rutgers  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: vs. Maryland  
  • Oct. 24: Iowa  
  • Oct. 31: at Nebraska  
  • Nov. 7: vs. Ohio State  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: at Illinois 

Iowa football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: vs. Maryland  
  • Sept. 12: at Purdue  
  • Sept. 19: at Minnesota  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Nebraska  
  • Oct. 3: vs. Northwestern  
  • Oct. 10: at Illinois  
  • Oct. 17: Bye  
  • Oct. 24: at Penn State  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Michigan State  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: vs. Wisconsin  
  • Nov. 21: at Ohio State 

Nebraska football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: at Rutgers  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Illinois  
  • Sept. 19: vs. Wisconsin  
  • Sept. 26: at Iowa  
  • Oct. 3: vs. Minnesota  
  • Oct. 10: at Ohio State  
  • Oct. 17: Bye  
  • Oct. 24: at Northwestern  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Penn State  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: at Purdue  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Michigan State 

Northwestern football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: at Penn State  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Wisconsin  
  • Sept. 19: at Michigan State  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Maryland  
  • Oct. 3: at Iowa  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: vs. Illinois  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Nebraska  
  • Oct. 31: at Purdue  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: at Minnesota  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Michigan

Minnesota football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: at Michigan State  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Michigan  
  • Sept. 19: vs. Iowa  
  • Sept. 26: at Wisconsin  
  • Oct. 3: at Nebraska 
  • Oct. 10: vs. Indiana  
  • Oct. 17: Bye  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Purdue  
  • Oct. 31: at Illinois  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: vs. Northwestern 
  • Nov. 21: at Maryland

Illinois football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 3: vs. Ohio State  
  • Sept. 12: at Nebraska  
  • Sept. 19: at Indiana  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Purdue  
  • Oct. 3: Bye  
  • Oct. 10: vs. Iowa  
  • Oct. 17: at Northwestern  
  • Oct. 24: at Wisconsin  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Minnesota  
  • Nov. 7: at Rutgers  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Penn State 

Indiana football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 4: at Wisconsin  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Penn State 
  • Sept. 19: vs. Illinois  
  • Sept. 26: at Ohio State  
  • Oct. 3: Bye  
  • Oct. 10: at Minnesota  
  • Oct. 17: vs. Michigan  
  • Oct. 24: vs. Maryland  
  • Oct. 31: at Rutgers  
  • Nov. 7: at Michigan State 
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Purdue

Maryland football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: at Iowa  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Michigan State 
  • Sept. 19: vs. Rutgers  
  • Sept. 26: at Northwestern  
  • Oct. 3: vs. Wisconsin  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: at Penn State  
  • Oct. 24: at Indiana  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Ohio State 
  • Nov. 7: at Michigan 
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: vs. Minnesota 

Purdue football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: at Michigan  
  • Sept. 12: vs. Iowa  
  • Sept. 19: vs. Ohio State  
  • Sept. 26: at Illinois  
  • Oct. 3: Bye  
  • Oct. 10: at Wisconsin  
  • Oct. 17: vs. Rutgers  
  • Oct. 24: at Minnesota  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Northwestern  
  • Nov. 7: Bye  
  • Nov. 14: vs. Nebraska  
  • Nov. 21: at Indiana

Rutgers football schedule

New schedule, opponents:

Previous schedule, opponents:

  • Sept. 5: vs. Nebraska  
  • Sept. 12: at Ohio State  
  • Sept. 19: at Maryland  
  • Sept. 26: vs. Michigan  
  • Oct. 3: vs. Penn State  
  • Oct. 10: Bye  
  • Oct. 17: at Purdue  
  • Oct. 24: at Michigan State  
  • Oct. 31: vs. Indiana  
  • Nov. 7: vs. Illinois  
  • Nov. 14: Bye  
  • Nov. 21: at Wisconsin 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Week 4 Fantasy QB Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at quarterback

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Week 4 Fantasy QB Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at quarterback

We have a bit of a good news/bad news situation for quarterbacks heading into Week 4. The good: Most of the big-name QBs are staying healthy (and, thus, maintaining their spots in our Week 4 fantasy QB rankings); the bad: A lot of their WRs are getting hurt. Three weeks into the season, we’re starting to get a better read on which veterans might be washed up (Drew Brees? Tom Brady?) and which youngsters could be the real deal (Joe Burrow?). Correctly diagnosing these busts and sleepers going forward could make the difference in your fantasy football season. 

For the second straight week, Patrick Mahomes gets to face an exciting quarterback counterpart, this time the Patriots and Cam Newton. Just like with the Ravens in Week 3, this matchup poses a much tougher defensive test for Mahomes than it does for his opponent. Hopefully, the strong QB dual leads to a high-scoring shootout, but either way, you’re not going to sit Mahomes, regardless of matchup.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

One of our biggest risers this week was supposed to be Joe Burrow. The Bengals haven’t been shy about letting the rookie sling it, and we saw what the Dolphins did to Jacksonville’s defense in Week 3. The only risk with Burrow is an early lead could dampen some of his late-game production, but there should be enough throwing and running room early for Burrow to have a big game regardless. After seeing Burrow come right back in after taking a huge blow to the head in Week 3, we’re believing the rookie can do pretty much anything.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Gardner Minshew disappointed us in a big way against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football last week. He forced a few too many passes after the Jaguars fell behind, and it certainly looked like the absence of DJ Chark (chest) hurt him, too. We still feel good about Minshew in two-QB and superflex leagues, especially against a mediocre Bengals defense this week, but Chark’s status certainly impacts Minshew’s playability, and it’s fair to expect the occasional clunker from the second-year sixth-round pick. 

For now, we’ve left Nick Mullens in as San Francisco’s quarterback while Jimmy Garoppolo’s return from a high-ankle sprain remains uncertain. The Sunday Night Football nature of the 49ers’ Week 4 game against the Eagles makes things even trickier for Garoppolo owners. Philadelphia has been vulnerable enough through the air that Garoppolo probably checks in around QB20 if he plays this week. If you had been playing Jimmy G before his injury, nothing about the Eagles is scary enough to change course if Garoppolo returns this week. 

We’re also leaving Justin Herbert in the rankings with the latest Adam Schefter report indicating Tyrod Taylor will likely miss Week 4 as he recovers from his punctured lung. Los Angeles takes on a tricky Tampa Bay defense in Week 4 that’ll probably cause the rookie Herbert some trouble, relegating him to the bench in single-QB leagues.

Note: Check back throughout the week, as we’ll continue to update our QB rankings and provide analysis up until kickoff based on the latest news and injury updates. 

Week 4 Fantasy QB Rankings

These rankings are for four-point passing TD leagues.

Rank Player
1 Lamar Jackson, BAL @ WAS
2 Russell Wilson, SEA @ MIA
3 Kyler Murray, ARZ @ CAR
4 Josh Allen, BUF @ LV
5 Dak Prescott, DAL vs. CLE
6 Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. ATL
7 Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. NE
8 Cam Newton, NE @ KC
9 Deshaun Watson, HOU vs. MIN
10 Matt Ryan, ATL @ GB
11 Jared Goff, LAR vs. NYG
12 Joe Burrow, CIN vs. JAX
13 Drew Brees, NO @ DET
14 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @ TEN
15 Gardner Minshew, JAX @ CIN
16 Matthew Stafford, DET vs. NO
17 Tom Brady, TB vs. LAC
18 Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. PIT
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA vs. SEA
20 Kirk Cousins, MIN @ HOU
21 Baker Mayfield, CLE @ DAL
22 Carson Wentz, PHI @ SF
23 Derek Carr, LV vs. BUF
24 Nick Foles, CHI vs. IND
25 Justin Herbert, LAC @ TB
26 Philip Rivers, IND @ CHI
27 Daniel Jones, NYG @ LAR
28 Teddy Bridgewater, CAR vs. ARZ
29 Jeff Driskel, DEN @ NYJ
30 Nick Mullens, SF vs. PHI
31 Dwayne Haskins, WAS vs. BAL
32 Sam Darnold, NYJ vs. DEN

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight end

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Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight end

Last week was a strange one for tight ends. Most of the top games were by guys who weren’t in lineups — and probably aren’t even worth being on rosters. We’re talking about guys like Tyler Kroft, Foster Moreau, Jesse James, Marcedes Lewis, and Jacob Hollister. Even guys like Greg Olsen, Mo Alie-Cox, Jimmy Graham, and Eric Ebron were well under 30-percent owned. So, in a weird way, it’s almost as if Week 3 had little-to-no effect on our Week 4 fantasy TE rankings, at least when it comes to the players themselves.

However, if one of those no-name TEs scored against a particular defense, it certainly affected our perception of future matchups. That’s why you see someone like Evan Engram (@ Rams) move up slightly after L.A. allowed three TE touchdowns to the Bills, though it would be nice if Engram gave us any reason to be optimistic. Noah Fant (@ Jets) keeps moving up, partly because he continues to rack up targets and partly because of a matchup against Jets defense that got beat by Alie-Cox for a touchdown last week. 

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker

Ultimately, there isn’t much movement within our starter’s tier. Zach Ertz (@ 49ers) rises despite a tough matchup, as he figures to command more targets with Dallas Goedert (ankle) likely out. Logan Thomas (vs. Ravens) remains an interesting sleeper because of his consistent targets, but it’s tough to say whether Baltimore’s early-season troubles against TEs is a mirage or just a small-sample-size fluke. Some of our favorite sleepers heading into last week, Dalton Shaultz (vs. Browns) and Drew Sample (vs. Jaguars), were non-factors, so even though both have favorable matchups on paper, they also have very low floors. That also goes for Ebron (@ Titans), who’s a little more reliable but still profiles as a touchdown-or-bust player.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Overall, it’s been a down year for TEs, so unless you have George Kittle (vs. Eagles), who will hopefully be returning this week, Travis Kelce (vs. Patriots), Mark Andrews (@ Washington), or Darren Waller (vs. Bills), you might be tempted to play the matchups. It’s tough to argue against that, but the players in our top 12 are still more reliable than the players below, so give it at least one more week of “playing it safe” before you start over at the position. 

Check back for updates and analysis to these TE rankings throughout the week.

Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues

Rank Player
1 George Kittle, SF vs. PHI
2 Mark Andrews, BAL @ WAS
3 Travis Kelce, KC vs. NE
4 Darren Waller, LV vs. BUF
5 Noah Fant, DEN @ NYJ
6 Zach Ertz, PHI @ SF
7 Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. NYG
8 Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. SEA
9 Hunter Henry, LAC @ TB
10 Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. PIT
11 T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. NO
12 Hayden Hurst, ATL @ GB
13 Evan Engram, NYG @ LAR
14 Jared Cook, NO @ DET
15 Logan Thomas, WAS vs. BAL
16 Eric Ebron, PIT @ TEN
17 Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. CLE
18 Jimmy Graham, CHI vs. IND
19 Drew Sample, CIN vs. JAX
20 Jordan Akins, HOU vs. MIN
21 Mo Alie-Cox, IND @ CHI
29 Greg Olsen, SEA @ MIA
22 Austin Hooper, CLE @ DAL
23 Chris Herndon, NYJ vs. DEN
24 O.J. Howard, TB vs. LAC
25 Tyler Eifert, JAX @ CIN
26 Rob Gronkowski, TB vs. LAC
27 Jack Doyle, IND @ CHI
28 Taysom Hill, NO @ DET
30 Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ HOU
31 Ian Thomas, CAR vs. ARI
32 Dan Arnold, ARI @ CAR
33 Irv Smith Jr., MIN @ HOU
34 Dawson Knox, BUF @ LV

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Broncos fill empty seats with 1,800 ‘South Park’ cutouts

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Broncos fill empty seats with 1,800 ‘South Park’ cutouts

They went down to Denver to have themselves a time.

With the coronavirus pandemic limiting fan attendance at sporting events, cardboard cutouts are in vogue. But the Denver Broncos took the fad to a whole new level on Sunday, putting cutouts of the entire town of “South Park” in the upper bowl of the stadium for its game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were more than 1,800 cutouts, according to ESPN, featuring characters from the Comedy Central series that began in 1997 and is based in a fictional Colorado town, and all of them were wearing masks.

Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny — along with Chef, ManBearPig and even Mr. Hanky — were all spread out across five sections of the stadium.

The Broncos reached out to Comedy Central about buying cutouts of the characters, per ESPN, which along with fan-purchased cutouts has raised $130,000 for local charities.

There were 5,700 actual fans in attendance to witness the Broncos’ 28-10 loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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