The Big Ten said in August that its 14 universities, including Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, would not compete this fall. It reversed its decision in September and said it would rely on daily testing — an approach that experts said could help detect outbreaks, but not leave teams immune from them — to help carry out a season.
Now, with the league’s season in just its second week, the Big Ten has a cancellation. Since August, at least 37 games involving Football Bowl Subdivision teams have been canceled or postponed for virus-related reasons.
But the design of the Big Ten schedule, which called for each team to play eight games with no open weeks ahead of the league championship game in December, offered no possibility for rescheduling this weekend’s matchup. The turmoil could swell further if Wisconsin, the only ranked team in the Big Ten’s West Division, is unable to host Purdue on Nov. 7.
Even if Wisconsin is able to play the Boilermakers, whose coach tested positive for the virus this month, it is sure to be short-handed. The Big Ten bars players found to have the virus from playing in games for at least 21 days after their positive test.