Indiana finally learned its updated football schedule for the season today, as the Big Ten announced each team's 10-game, conference-only slate. Although it's still less than certain whether the football season will be played, the Hoosiers can at least now begin preparing for Week 1 against Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Hoosiers start the season on a Friday against the Badgers and also have matchups against Penn State (at home) and Ohio State (on the road) in the first four weeks of the season. When their 2020 schedule was first put together, Indiana had matchups against Western Kentucky, Ball State and Connecticut in the season's first four weeks. With the way Indiana's original schedule set up, it was conceivable the Hoosiers could have started the year 7-0 before facing Penn State on Halloween. That early slate becomes much more daunting now.
In addition to the new, more difficult early-season slate, Indiana also saw the location changed for two of its games. A home game against Michigan State became a road game, while a road matchup against Michigan will now be played at Memorial Stadium, adjustments the Big Ten made to allow for maximum schedule flexibility in the event that games need to be made up. Like all Big Ten teams, the Hoosiers will have two bye weeks. For IU, those come Oct. 3 and Nov. 14, the latter the week before Indiana takes on Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket in Bloomington on Nov. 21.
Each Big Ten team had an extra inter-divisional game added to its previous nine-game conference slate to get to a 10-game season. For Indiana, that extra cross-divisional opponent is Minnesota, which will play host to the Hoosiers in October. The Golden Gophers are coming off an 11-2 season and an Outback Bowl win over Auburn, their first 11-win campaign since they went 13-0 in 1904. The addition of Minnesota means that Indiana will still not face Northwestern this season unless the teams meet in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wildcats figure to be quarterbacked by former Hoosier signal-caller Peyton Ramsey, who transferred in the offseason.
Here is Indiana's full schedule:
Thursday – Fall training camp begins
Sept. 4 – at Wisconsin
Sept. 12 – vs. Penn State
Sept. 19 – vs. Illinois
Sept. 26 – at Ohio State
Oct. 3 – BYE
Oct. 10 – at Minnesota
Oct. 17 – vs. Michigan
Oct. 24 – vs. Maryland
Oct. 31 – at Rutgers
Nov. 7 – at Michigan State
Nov. 14 – BYE
Nov. 21 – vs. Purdue
After the Hoosiers' schedule was released, Indiana sent out an update on its policies for purchasing tickets this season. The athletic department said it expects Memorial Stadium to have a "reduced capacity", though it's unclear still how many fans will be allowed to attend each game. With so much uncertainty, Indiana is giving those who have purchased season tickets for the 2020 season a chance to opt out of doing so. Those who decide to opt out will be given the choice to get a full refund, roll the ticket purchase over to 2021 or donate the cost of the 2020 tickets to the IU Varsity Club to support athlete scholarships.
Those who decide to opt out will still receive an application to purchase their same seats for the 2021 season and they will not lose their consecutive years of season ticket purchase. Indiana plans to release its official ticketing plan in mid-August.
“We continue to solicit and follow the advice of the IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group and abide by the directives from campus leadership, local and state agencies, and the CDC in formulating a plan to welcome fans to Memorial Stadium this fall,” Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson said in a statement. “We want to give our loyal fans an opportunity to see Coach Tom Allen’s team this fall as much as possible, but we must be sure that we do that in way that is responsible and follows the safety protocols.”
For more information on how to change your 2020 Indiana ticket purchases, go to https://iuhoosiers.com/sports/2020/6/8/COVID-19-Updates.aspx