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Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Michigan football has been hosed when it comes to its Big Ten schedule.

Michigan football fans can’t feel great about when the Ohio State football game is being played.

Under normal circumstances, these two arch rivals meet in the early afternoon window two days after Thanksgiving, alternating between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio.

With the Big Ten releasing its 2020 conference-only season schedule, Michigan fans have to be furious about when they draw the Buckeyes this year. Things can’t be going over well in Ann Arbor right now.

The Big Ten has released their schedule.

• 10-game, conference-only schedule
• Begins Labor Day weekend
• Each team has two bye weeks built in, with the regular season ending Nov. 21 and the conference title game on Dec. 5

(via @BigTenNetwork)

— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 5, 2020

The Ohio State-Michigan football game date has been scheduled: Saturday, October 24th in Columbus.

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 5, 2020

Michigan football might now have three conference losses before November.

Michigan has some road blocks in September, as the Wolverines have a road date with the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis on Sept. 12 and a home game vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sept. 19. If Michigan wants any shot at a New Year’s Six Bowl, they can’t drop both of these games in back-to-back weeks. It only gets harder for the Wolverines from there.

While Michigan should be able to pick up a few wins in the heart of its schedule against division rivals at Rutgers (Sept. 26), home vs. Michigan State (Oct. 3) and at Indiana (Oct. 17), their season might be on life support with their final two games of October: At Ohio State on Oct.. 24 and home vs. Wisconsin on Halloween, Oct. 31. There is a chance Michigan has three or four losses this year.

Though the Wolverines end their season with a pair of easier matchups vs. Maryland (Nov. 7) and at Northwestern (Nov. 21), it’s not going to mean much of anything if a three or four-loss Michigan team takes on the Terrapins or the Wildcats completely out of the College Football Playoff picture. While the games are spaced out across the board for everyone, Michigan is still in a brutal spot.

We will know through their first eight games of 2020 if the Wolverines are for real or not. They will be battle-tested, but that’s a brutal gauntlet for even the best of Power 5 team to navigate. Michigan will face three or four teams perpetually ranked in the top 25 before the calendar flips to November. However, they may have big momentum by that point of the Wolverines can be strong.

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Drawing Ohio State before Halloween has disastrous consequences for Michigan football this year.

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Court Nixes Ohio Ballot Applications Arriving By Fax, Email

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Requesting an absentee ballot by fax or email remains off-limits in Ohio following a court decision that delivered a victory to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and fellow Republicans in a critical battleground state.

A three-judge panel of Ohio’s 10th District Court of Appeals ruled late Tuesday that a trial judge’s order requiring Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose to allow the applications by fax or email could burden county election boards and pose a security risk to the fall presidential election.

The court made its decision “because of the unrebutted, compelling evidence of harm to third parties and the great public interest in preserving the security of Ohio’s 2020 general election.”

The decision returns the case, brought by the Ohio Democratic Party and voting rights groups, to Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen McIntosh’s court, where a trial could proceed. An appeal is also possible.

The appellate court said Democrats showed only that Ohio election law allows electronic submissions, not that they must be required.

In a statement, Democratic Chairman David Pepper said that confirmed the party’s contention “all along” that LaRose is free to allow electronic submissions if he wants to.

“For two years now, it’s been Frank LaRose himself, not Ohio law, prohibiting this easy way for voters to ask for absentee ballots,” he said. “Yesterday’s decision shows he’s been wrong the entire time. He can now finally stop pretending the law is an obstacle here and start doing what so many other states have been doing without problems.”

With less than five weeks until Election Day, the decision was a win for the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and other GOP committees that had joined LaRose’s side in the lawsuit.

A group of computer science and engineering experts from top U.S. universities sided with Democrats, saying it was possible to accept applications by email while protecting against outside interference.

LaRose’s spokeswoman, Maggie Sheehan, said the office appreciated the court siding with its argument that cybersecurity concerns were too great to make changes to the ballot request process so close to the election.

“Ohioans are showing incredible confidence in how we’re running this election by requesting absentee ballots at a record pace,” she said in a statement. “Our mission is to reward that confidence by running a safe, secure and accessible election.”

Ohio voters must submit an absentee ballot application by noon Oct. 31. The date falls too close to the election to guarantee that a voter will be able to receive and return a ballot by the deadline, so LaRose has joined the U.S. Postal Service in urging Ohioans to submit their applications no later than Oct. 27, leaving a full week for election boards to receive the request, mail a ballot and get it back.

Despite strong lobbying by LaRose, Ohio still lacks an online ballot request system, opting instead to mail paper absentee ballot applications to every registered voter. Based on Tuesday’s decision, county election boards must continue to comply with a LaRose directive that says they can only accept completed applications by mail or in person.

Democrats had argued that, if LaRose supported an online ballot request system, he should also support ballot applications being received by fax or email. But LaRose said they are two very different things, because email and fax systems don’t boast the same cybersecurity protections as an online application portal would allow.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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