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‘A lot of optimism’ after Big Ten’s meeting on Sunday, a vote to restart football expected this week

We’re getting closer to a season, it seems.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is heavily weighing a return to football, and reports from various outlets on Saturday and Sunday would indicate Michigan will be playing Big Ten foes sooner than later.

“Big Ten (Sunday) meeting has been productive in terms of medical plan and maintaining momentum toward playing this fall,” said SI’s Pat Forde. Forde also noted that “some schools already setting practice schedules in preparation for October kickoff”.

Multiple outlets reported that there will be no vote on Sunday night but there will be one in the next few days, perhaps on Monday.

The Big Ten’s Return to Competition Task Force had a positively-received presentation on Saturday, while Sunday’s meeting delved into how the conference returns to play from a health protocol standpoint.

Per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Heather Dinich, “Sunday’s presentation also broadened beyond the medical component to include more specifics about how and when the Big Ten could start the season, along with possible dates and the medical thresholds that each team must meet in order to return. A potential start date of Oct. 17 is one option being discussed, according to sources, and likely would allow Big Ten teams to complete the regular season before the College Football Playoff selections are made.”

What’s helping the Big Ten potentially return to play are a couple major factors. “The Big Ten’s medical subcommittee, which is co-chaired by Ohio State lead team physician Dr. Jim Borchers and Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour, outlined plans that not only included new testing possibilities, but also the latest information about myocarditis, a viral inflammation of the heart muscle, and other conditions found in athletes who recovered from COVID-19,” Rittenberg and Dinich said.

If and when the Big Ten votes on a return to football, the conference will need 9 university presidents/chancellors out of 14 will have to vote in favor of a season.

It might not be a fall without Michigan football after all.