The Big Ten revealed its kick times and network assignments for its first week of games on October 24th, along with several other days throughout the season. Most notably, Friday night football returns in earnest to the conference, with five Friday night games over the eight week season.
Start times and television designations for games during the first week of the 2020 Big Ten football season were announced this morning, along with other select games later in the season. pic.twitter.com/Ho2eaVylXy
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) October 12, 2020
Here’s the schedule for the first week of Big Ten games, which is Week Eight on the overall college football calendar. All times Eastern.
- Friday, October 23rd: Illinois @ Wisconsin, 8 PM, BTN
- Saturday, October 24th: Nebraska @ Ohio State, 12 PM, Fox
- Saturday, October 24th: Rutgers @ Michigan State, 12 PM, BTN
- Saturday, October 24th: Penn State @ Indiana, 3:30 PM, FS1
- Saturday, October 24th: Iowa @ Purdue, 3:30 PM, BTN
- Saturday, October 24th: Michigan @ Minnesota, 7:30 PM, ABC
- Saturday, October 24th: Maryland @ Northwestern, 7:30 PM, BTN
Many of the kick times and networks for Week 8 have yet to be announced, but on Friday night, there are a pair of other games, one on ESPN (Tulsa-USF) and one on CBS Sports Network (Louisiana-UAB). ABC will air Notre Dame-Pitt in the 3:30 PM window, while Fox has Iowa State-Oklahoma State and CBS has Alabama-Tennessee. Of those seven Week 1 matchups, the ABC primetime game between Michigan and Minnesota is the best one on the slate.
The Friday games also continue past the first week of the conference’s return to action, with four more announced throughout the rest of the year. Only two have confirmed evening kickoff times, but the Purdue-Minnesota game will definitely be slotted in the nighttime hours.
- Friday, October 30th: Minnesota @ Maryland, 7:30 PM, ESPN
- Friday, November 13th: Iowa @ Minnesota, 7 PM, FS1
- Friday, November 20th: Purdue @ Minnesota, TBD, BTN
- Friday, November 27th: Nebraska @ Iowa, TBD, Fox/FS1
The concept of regular Friday night football in the conference has been around before the Big Ten even signed its latest TV deals with ESPN and Fox. With the new deals came the announcement of a six-game Friday night football schedule for the 2017 season and immediate blowback from fans, schools, several coaches, and even legislators, resulting in the conference pulling the plug on those plans. Of note: four of the most vocal teams against Friday night football back in 2017 were Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Northwestern, and none will play on Fridays this year. Minnesota, who plays three Friday games, and Iowa, who plays two, are the only teams with more than Friday night game this season. Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, Purdue, and Nebraska are the others. Rutgers, Michigan State, and Indiana join the four vocal dissenters in getting Fridays off this year.
The final schedule announcement made by the Big Ten on Monday concerns the Michigan-Ohio State game, which will take place on December 12th. To no one’s surprise, it will air at noon on Fox.