The Big Ten won’t be trying to make up games that are unable to be played because of COVID-19.
The conference released its 2020 season guidelines on Thursday and said that a game that can’t be played because of coronavirus cases on either team will be declared a “no contest.”
“In the instance a game cannot be played as scheduled due to both a test positivity rate greater than 5% and a population positivity rate greater than 7.5% for one or both teams, the game shall be cancelled and declared a No Contest and will not count as a win or loss for either team,” the Big Ten said.
The conference released those test positivity rate and population positivity rate guidelines when it announced that it would be playing football in the fall. The test positivity rate applies to players on the team and the population positivity rate applies to others in the football program. Big Ten teams are doing daily testing.
The conference is trying to have its teams play nine games in nine weeks starting this weekend, so there is no room for makeup games. That’s in contrast to a conference like the SEC, which has already moved two postponed games to Dec. 12 and shuffled a few others in an attempt to make sure that every team plays its 10 scheduled games.
The Mountain West announced this week that its scheduled game between New Mexico and Colorado State wouldn’t be played this weekend or made up later because of coronavirus cases at New Mexico. Like the Big Ten, the Mountain West doesn’t have any off weekends built into its schedule.
Since the Big Ten won’t be making up games, the conference said that teams will have to play at least six of their first eight games to be considered for the conference championship game.
“A team must play at least six games to be considered for participation in the championship game,” the Big Ten’s tiebreaker procedures note. “However, if the average number of conference games played by all teams falls below six, with the average rounded up/down at .50 (i.e. 6.50 or greater would round up to 7, 6.49 or less would round down to 6), then teams must play no less than two fewer conference games than the average number of conference games played by all teams (i.e. four games played if the conference average is six) to be considered.”
Big Ten teams have eight games scheduled before championship weekend. The ninth game for each team will be determined at the end of the eight-game season. The top teams in each division will play each other for the Big Ten title while the other 12 teams will play their corresponding cross-division opponent in the standings.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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