Penn State is still scheduled to begin the upcoming football season on time in Beaver Stadium — just with a new opponent.
That, at least, is the Big Ten’s plan for now amid the continuing surging coronavirus.
The league announced revised schedules Wednesday for all of its members, which includes on-time start dates for training camp (Aug. 7) and the season (Sept. 5). It laid out 10-game, conference-only schedules with an extra bye week built in to each — along with the availability to push back the start date a week or two if deemed necessary.
Penn State will now open its season at home against Northwestern, followed by road games at Indiana (Sept. 12) and Michigan (Sept. 19).
The Nittany Lions will return home against Michigan State and then travel to Rutgers — programs that are currently shut down because of COVID-19 outbreaks — before a bye week on Oct. 10.
The second half of the proposed season will include home games with Maryland (Oct. 17) and Iowa (Oct. 24) before a Halloween road trip to Nebraska.
Penn State will play top-rated Ohio State in Beaver Stadium on Nov. 7 before ending with a bye week and a road trip to Illinois.
The Big Ten Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Game times will be announced at a later date.
Season ticket holders will be emailed information regarding the 2020 football season this week.
Despite the schedule release, news around the conference has been sobering in regard to trying to play a season.
Michigan State and Rutgers have recently halted voluntary workouts because of COVID-19 spikes among their players and staff members.
Meanwhile, the mother of Indiana freshman offensive lineman Brady Feeney wrote a Facebook post about her son’s ongoing COVID-19 ordeal. Feeney, from Missouri, began experiencing breathing problems a week after being isolated with two other teammates who had tested positive.
“Now we are dealing with possible heart issues! He is still experiencing additional symptoms and his blood work is indicating additional problems,” mother Deborah Rucker wrote.
“Bottom line, even if your son’s schools do everything right to protect them, they CAN’T PROTECT THEM!!”
Northwestern is the latest Big Ten program to stop workouts after at least one player tested positive for the virus. Indiana, Iowa and Ohio State also have temporarily shut down workouts this summer.
On Tuesday, Minnesota star receiver Rashod Bateman — a potential first-round NFL Draft pick — announced he will sit out the upcoming college football season to protect his health and prepare for the pros.
Penn State All-American linebacker Micah Parson is expected to follow that move this week, leaving the Lions without their top defender and one of their emotional leaders.
Connecticut then became the first FBS team to cancel its season on Wednesday. The independent program is led by Susquehannock grad and former Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.