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Big Ten denies Nebraska request to play non-conference game

Update: The Big Ten's council of presidents and chancellors have voted to deny Nebraska, and other Big Ten teams, permission to schedule non-conference games to replace canceled contests. See below.

Before the season was killed and then revived, way back in July, the edict was laid down: the Big Ten would not play any non-conference games this season. That July 9 announcement, a day after the Ivy League announced it would not play this season, sent shockwaves through college football -- though eventually most everyone else in the Power 5 would follow.

And when the Big Ten's season was resurrected in late September, the edict remained: no non-conference games.

In July it was a matter of principle; in September it was a matter of practicality. There simply wasn't time. Beginning Oct. 24, the league would play nine games in nine weeks -- eight regular-season games, plus a Championship Saturday showdown with a team of similar standing in the opposite division.

But now Wisconsin is unable to play its scheduled game at Nebraska on Saturday, and Nebraska isn't ready to sit on its hands on Week 2 of this delayed season. Plenty of observers connected the dots when Nebraska said nothing following Wisconsin's cancellation announcement.

So, on Thursday the Chattanooga Times Free Pressreported Chattanooga is close to finalizing an agreement to play the Huskers on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The game is waiting final approval from the Big Ten, but one would think the two parties wouldn't go down this far down the road if approval was seen as a major stumbling block.

And why would it be? Nebraska needs as many games as it can get. The Nebraska athletics department needs games to pay the bills; the Nebraska players need games for experience and development; the Nebraska people need games for sanity.

Nebraska will reportedly pay between $200,000 and $250,000 plus expenses. The Mocs were originally scheduled to play just one game this fall, which happened last Saturday. UTC lost 13-10 to Western Kentucky. The program initially anticipated moving into a 3-month hibernation before gearing up for a spring season, now it appears they'll make a last-minute trip to Lincoln.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.


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