The Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday that it will play football this fall, a stunning reversal from the league’s move last month to push back the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

About nine hours after the Big Ten’s major announcement, the Pacific-12 Conference — which had also shelved fall football — made its most substantive statement yet that gridiron action could also be back on in 2020.

The head-spinning day of off-the-field college football action kicked off mid-morning Wednesday, when the Big Ten — a league of 14 universities, representing some of the nation’s most prestigious schools and storied football programs — announced it would return to the gridiron next month.

“The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020,” according to a conference statement.

Commissioner Kevin Warren defended the league’s 180-degree turn, saying conditions — specifically, rapid testing technology — had changed.

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