The sun is rising on the Illinois football program as news just broke that the Big Ten is set to play again.
Rumors have been swirling about the Big Ten starting to play football recently. As an Illini fan, the fan depression has really hit hard, especially after the basketball season was abruptly canceled.
But then the football season followed on August 11 with the announcement that fall sports would be postponed until spring.
Since that fateful day, there had been rumblings about the Big Ten starting earlier and earlier. At first, I heard sometime during the spring. Then the conference could start play in November, around Thanksgiving some were eyeing. But now it is official.
Big Ten football will be back starting October 24.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020: https://t.co/b5yHShGb1D
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 16, 2020
It looks the conference will play eight games for eight straight weeks. That means there is going to be a lot of football packed into a two-month span.
This is massive news to so many Big Ten fans, but more importantly, this is gigantic news to the fans of the Illinois football program.
Illinois just completed their 2019 campaign, which resulted in six wins and their first bowl game appearance since 2014. Momentum was just starting to build for the Orange and Blue. A talented and experienced quarterback, an offensive line that has rarely been seen in Champaign and a defensive secondary that is our secret weapon, all of these things will help Illinois increase their wins in 2020.
Without a season in 2020, the magic wouldn’t have been able to happen. Brandon Peters might have departed the program without playing two seasons with the Illini. Josh Imatorbhebhe would likely have departed for the NFL as well. Illinois is on the cusp of having one of the best campaigns we have seen in the last 40 years, and the future was held by a vote.
That vote ended up going in favor of playing football.
The schedules haven’t been rereleased quite yet, but I assume Illinois will be taking on Ohio State on October 24. This is going to be a tough game, but I believe we are ready for the Buckeyes.
Overall, I am just happy that football is back in the Big Ten. The health and safety of the athletes should be the top priority for the decision makers. If they feel that the kids can play football, then I have to go off their judgment. Let’s play some football baby!