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Big Ten considering starting winter season as early as Thanksgiving (Updated)

Update: Bruce Feldman reports Big Ten coaches are on a call and that it's a "real possibility" the conference plays football later this fall. It's unclear at this time if that would be Thanksgiving or even earlier. Pete Thamel, however says it is clear going back to something that resembles a more traditional start time for the season will not happen. Thamel adds that is in the "VERY" early discussion phase.

The hypothetical start to the Big Ten's spring season keeps getting earlier and earlier.

Jeff Brohm wanted to begin in late February. Then it appeared the conference favored a January start. Now, according to one report, the Big Ten could be playing football games on Thanksgiving weekend.

As Jeff Potrykus wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "two college football people familiar with the Big Ten" have told him the conference is considering a season of at least eight games, beginning the week of Thanksgiving.

CBS has now confirmed the report.

Starting games on Thanksgiving would mean beginning training camp on or around Oct. 26, less than two months from today. Of course, moving the start of its spring winter season into the late fall would invite inevitable questions about why the fall season was canceled in the first place, but the feeling is breakthroughs in testing would make Big Ten presidents much more comfortable with putting their teams on the field.

“We thought that potentially could be an answer for us,” Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez told the paper recently. “If we had a saliva test that we could get back within an hour.

“Heck, we could have our guys do their test, go in and have breakfast and they’d have an answer before they went to practice and we could have a clean practice field.”

All of these plans are unconfirmed. The Big Ten indicated it would release a plan as early as this week, but here we are on Friday and no plan has emerged. At some point the Big Ten will release its plan for a spring/winter/late fall season. Hopefully it'll become out before Thanksgiving. Read the full report here.