The Wolverine

October 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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16 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2020 BY JOHN BORTON J im Harbaugh's crew always stood ready for some football. In time, Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors relented. That means — barring further in- terruption — the Wolverines will take the field for the 138th straight fall, 141st overall, come Oct. 24. They'll play the conference's newly devised eight-games-plus-one schedule, fea- turing a crossover contest with the West Division on the week of the Big Ten Championship Game. The schedule configuration didn't matter to the Wolverines, as much as its existence. When you've walked through the desert for 40 days, water, lemonade or Pepsi will do. T h e S e p t . 1 6 a n n o u n c e m e n t brought cheers across the Midwest, and beyond. For Harbaugh, it pro- duced a succinct statement and a signal to keep grinding toward the season he'd hoped for all along. "Great news today," Harbaugh re- acted. "Over the past month, I could sense the anticipation from our play- ers and coaches, and I'm thrilled on their behalf that they will have a chance to play a 2020 season. Stay positive. Test negative. Let's play football." They intend to, beginning with their Oct. 24 showdown at Minnesota and going through mid-December. That is, if Michigan maintains the sort of discipline it generated to pro- duce very solid coronavirus testing numbers this fall, and other Big Ten teams match that effort. BIG TEN REVERSES FIELD The change wouldn't have hap- pened without Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors running a reverse. They decided only a week after the Big Ten issued a 10-game, confer- ence-only schedule in early August to postpone the fall season. All sorts of projections and specula- tion followed. Would the conference change course again? In an open letter to the Big Ten community, conference FOOTBALL'S FOOTBALL'S BACK BACK The Wolverines Gear Up After The Big Ten Says Go

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