As teams continue to find ways to prepare during the offseason, more and more teams are competing in “secret scrimmages.”
That being said, the name is a bit misleading since these ‘secret’ scrimmages are typically well known by fans of the schools involved, as well as the media that covers said teams. Of course the reason for the name is because the scrimmages aren’t typically open to the public or the media, with the events being held behind closed doors.
Typically these scrimmages are controlled and teams can focus on certain areas they’d like to work on heading into the season. For example, Purdue has scrimmaged West Virginia in the past due to the Mountaineers stout press defense. Purdue had struggled in the past with the press and scrimmaging against West Virginia allowed Matt Painter’s squad to help address one of their bigger issues offensively.
Anyway, ESPN analyst Jeff Goodman took to Twitter heading into the weekend to reveal the known secret scrimmages set for late October and early November. Of the 14 teams in the conference, only Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State aren’t reported to have a secret scrimmage over the next two weeks. The complete list can be seen below.
Big Ten Secret Scrimmages: pic.twitter.com/82PQze0toh— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 20, 2017
The NCAA allows teams to hold two exhibition games heading into the season. In the past some teams would schedule two exhibition games against lower division teams, but now a lot of teams have also started scheduling secret scrimmages (which count towards the two exhibition games) as well. If you’ve noticed, the three teams (Illinois, Northwestern and Rutgers) with two secret scrimmages will have no public exhibition games this fall.