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WATCH: Ohio State president, athletic director discuss return of Big Ten football

Ohio State University resident Kristina M. Johnson and Director of Athletics Gene Smith are holding a news conference to discuss the return of football.
Credit: AP
Dec. 4, 2018, file photo, Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson and Director of Athletics Gene Smith are holding a news conference to discuss the return of football.

Less than five weeks after pushing football and other fall sports to spring in the name of player safety during the pandemic, the conference changed course Wednesday and said it plans to begin its season the weekend of Oct. 23-24.

Each team will play eight games in eight weeks and the conference championship game will be held Dec. 19 — if all goes well. That should give the Big Ten an opportunity to compete for the national championship.

The Big Ten said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to restart sports. The vote last month was 11-3 to postpone, with Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska voting against.