Big Ten Football Set To Begin
The 2020 Big Ten Conference football season is set to begin this weekend, which means that both Indiana and Purdue will be on the field.
When the Big Ten begins play on Friday night, the Pac-12 Conference will be the only remaining Power 5 league to remain sidelined.
It has been a long and strange journey to get to this point, but for fans of the Hoosiers and Boilermakers, this will be a joyous weekend. This should also provide a huge boost to the sports betting industry in Indiana, one that is already setting records.
Each team in the Big Ten Conference will play eight conference-only games this season, and there is no open week built into the schedule. This means that a COVID-19 spread could force the cancellation of some games, but the league is hoping that it does not come to that.
Every athlete and member of the staff is undergoing daily COVID-19 testing, with results that are returned that same day. Schools have agreed to pay for the cost of these tests in an effort to get the 2020 football season underway.
Even though the Big Ten Conference is not getting underway until Week 8 of the college football season, there is still a chance for the league to get a team into the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten Championship Game is set for Dec. 19, just one day before the College Football Playoff selections are made.
Hoosiers Host Nittany Lions
Indiana will kick off the 2020 season with a matchup against Penn State. The Hoosiers are slight underdogs in this game as Penn State is the No. 8 team in the country despite not playing a game yet.
The Hoosiers won eight games for the first time in 26 years a season ago, and there is plenty of talent returning in 2020. Indiana will enter the season with several new assistant coaches, but the team has had plenty of time to become acquainted with one another.
Indiana will return 17 starters from a team that reached the Gator Bowl a season ago, and nine of those starters are on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Kane Wommack is back calling plays for that unit this season.
Michael Penix Jr. returns to lead the team at quarterback, and seven other offensive starters remain. There is some future NFL talent on this unit, and the Hoosiers will need to score in this game.
Purdue Hosts Iowa
Purdue hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, and the Boilermakers are slim three-point underdogs. The Boilermakers went just 4-8 a season ago, but the team was dealing with several key injuries at that time.
The quarterback position remains a mystery for Purdue, and head coach Jeff Brohm has not yet announced his starter. The offense does have several key players back, but Purdue must find a way to get some production at the quarterback position.
Iowa is coming off a 10-3 record a season ago, but the Hawkeyes lost many key players. They currently sit outside of the Top 25, but the Hawkeyes could contend for a conference championship.
For more sports news and legal sports betting in Indiana, check out more stories on our blog.
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