The Big Ten’s decision to play football this fall means teams from the conference will be eligible to receive votes in the Amway Coaches Poll, starting this Sunday.
According to guidelines set forth by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), under whose auspices USA TODAY Sports has administered the coaches poll since 1991, teams playing a fall schedule and thus eligible for the College Football Playoff can receive votes this season.
The Big Ten announced Wednesday the conference's college football season will start Oct. 24 with an eight-game schedule before a championship game to be played Dec. 19. With the conference's status clarified, teams will be permitted to receive votes immediately.
Big Ten schools were included in the preseason poll published Aug. 6. The conference announced it decision to cancel the fall season five days later. Teams were ineligible to receive votes in the first regular-season poll Sept. 13.
Air Force also will be eligible to receive votes this season even though the Mountain West Conference is not playing. The Falcons announced this week they will play two games against service academy rivals Navy (at home) and Army (at West Point) in order to fulfill their Commander in Chief’s Trophy series obligations.
The games will be played prior to the playoff selections this making them eligible, although unlikely to receive votes.
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