The Big Ten announced Wednesday, Sept. 16 that there will be a football season starting next month, which means the Minnesota Golden Gophers are back. This season will resume on the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 24. The schedule is expected to be released later this week.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming off of one of their best seasons in school history. Their 11-2 record with an Outback Bowl win is a bog season that they can build off of. Their upcoming seasons comes with a bit of a twist to it. They will be playing an eight game season, starting with four home games and four away games. The Big Ten season was postponed last month because of concerns with the Coronavirus pandemic. This eight game season can save each school in millions of dollars in revenue.
The Big Ten will endure a daily rapid testing program that starts Wednesday, Sept. 30 and will happen on all 14 Big Ten campuses. After a positive diagnosis, the earliest an athlete can participate in any team activities is after 21 days. This rapid testing program helped saved college football this season. Although, missing 21 days of an eight-week season can be costly if one endures a potential false. That can change a player, or even a teams' whole season.
The Big Ten is one of six schools in the FBS that are currently playing football, and they are not the only power five conference that is not playing currently. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) starts in two weeks on the weekend of Sept. 26-28, and the Pac-12 has yet to determine whether a season will happen. California and Oregon are the two states holding up that conference's vote to play football because of public health regulations.
With Minnesota having a season, they have a real shot at making the Big Ten Championship game. They were one win against Wisconsin away from making it and this year is their year to do so. They will get to debut new talent which includes former NDSCS defensive back Nathan Seward, who is a prefered walk-on for the Golden Gophers.