BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — If at first you don’t succeed, just reschedule.
That’s the what Big Ten has done with this Champions Week schedule. Aside from Ohio State and Northwestern playing in the Big Ten Championship Game, the league announced the schedule for the rest of the league in this final week.
After Purdue and Indiana couldn’t play last week because of COVID-19 cases at both schools, they’ve set them up to play again this week, preferring to reschedule natural rivalries that using a true crossover schedule based on records.
The game will be Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET in Bloomington and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Indiana is 6-1 on the season and has clinched second place in the Big Ten East, its highest finish ever. They are ranked No. 7 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls this week, its highest ranking since 1967.
Getting a second chance to play Purdue is a great opportunity.
“Bucket week is a very, very special week here for our program,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said last week about facing Purdue. “We are playing for a trophy, we know it is going to be a tremendously difficult battle on game day against a very good Purdue football team, which we know is going to take our very, very best.
“Coach (Jeff) Brohm has a very talented football team, some of the best receivers in the country on that team, a lot of weapons, a lot of hungry guys that are going to play really hard for this trophy. So, a lot of respect for them and their staff and what they do, and know that our guys are going to have to have a great week or preparation, and be very, very diligent in our pursuit of keeping the Oaken Bucket.”
Purdue is 2-4 on the season, and has lost four games in a row.
“Indiana is playing at a high level,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “They are well-coached, and they are playing hard. They’ve got a lot of confidence, and they have got a lot of big wins. Any time you hold Wisconsin to no touchdowns, that means you’re doing a lot of good things. They are very good on defense, very aggressive, and they give you a lot of different looks. They ttack the quarterback from a lot of different areas and challenge you on every play.”
“Then on offense, two solid receivers, a very good tight end, a big, solid running back and they control the football and don’t make mistakes. That’s how they have won their football games. They have done a very good job of it. We have a challenge to go there and compete and play as hard as we can for 60 minutes.”
It was presumed that Indiana and Iowa, the runners-up in each division would get together, but the league instead used this bonus week to reschedule rivalry games that were canceled by COVID. Minnesota and Wisconsin will get to play each other after all now, too.
That’s provided COVID doesn’t force more cancellations this week. The Big Ten has been forced to cancel at least one game every week since Week 1 kicked off the truncated season on Oct. 24.
Here is the complete Championship Week schedule:
- FRIDAY’S GAMES
- Nebraska at Rutgers, 4 p.m. Friday (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Purdue at Indiana, 7:30 p.m. Friday (TV: Big Ten Network)
- SATURDAY’S GAMES
- Ohio State vs. Northwestern, Noon ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (TV: FOX)
- Minnesota at Wisconsin, 4 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Illinois at Penn State, 5:30 p.m. ET (TV: FOX Sports 1)
- Michigan at Iowa, 7 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN)
- Michigan State at Maryland, 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
Related stories on Big Ten football
- ILLINOIS FIRES LOVIE SMITH: Lovie Smith was the head coach at Illinois for five years and never posted a winning record. He was fired on Sunday, finishing with a 17-39 record. CLICK HERE
- WOMMACK LEAVING INDIANA: Indiana defensive coordinator Kane Wommack accepted the head coaching position at South Alabama on Saturday. He’s now the uoungest head coach in FBS, and had a great run as Indiana’s defensive coordinator the past two years. CLICK HERE
- TOM ALLEN REACTS TO BIG TEN DECISION: Tom Allen talked on his radio show about everything that’s happened this week to Indiana. CLICK HERE