,COVID-19 caused college sports to get creative during the 2020 season, and Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman certainly embraced that challenge.

According to documents released by Ohio State on Wednesday, Whitman proposed a very interesting scheduling concept that would have helped the Big Ten navigate the pandemic.

Whitman’s proposal involved a 12-game, conference-only regular season that included four make-up weeks for missed games. The season would have began in late August and ended with a Big Ten Championship game shortly before Christmas.

Here’s an outline:

The Big Ten office would have been wise to consider Whitman’s proposal more thoroughly. The conference ended up with an eight-game, conference-only schedule that began in late October. Therefore, there were no built-in bye weeks to use for flexible scheduling. Instead, there were numerous cancelations that had no hope of being rescheduled.

The conference decided to cancel the season in mid-August (several weeks after Whitman made this proposal) before ultimately reversing that decision.

Whitman also encouraged early-season rivalry games in this proposal.

Thankfully, college football should be back to normal in 2021. Most Big Ten stadiums — if not all — are expected to operate at full capacity for the 2021 season.