Newcomer Rutgers will take part in the first Big Ten game of 2014 when it plays host to Penn State on Sept. 13. That’s one of several interesting matchups in the schedule, which was announced today. The 2014 schedule will be the first season with Maryland and Rutgers in the conference. The 2014 season also will see the Big Ten split into new East and West Divisions.
Things set up well for Nebraska, which opens with five games at home and doesn’t leave Lincoln until Oct. 12 (at Purdue). It wouldn’t be a shock if Nebraska is 8-0 when it travels to Michigan on Nov. 9 in the only game the Huskers may not be favored in all season. Bottom line: This schedule greases the skids for Nebraska’s return trip to the Big Ten title game, as the Huskers pursue the program’s first conference title since 1999.
This schedule is built for success – at least the first half of it. It opens with four of the first five games coming at home. And Minnesota should be favored in each one. Could the Golden Gophers be 5-0 when they travel to Michigan on Oct. 5? Hmm. And—don’t look now—but Minnesota has a good chance to be 5-3 when it plays at Indiana on Nov. 2. But a loss to the improving Hoosiers would make getting a sixth win very difficult with a challenging last few games.
The schedule is pretty kind to a Michigan State program coming off a disappointing 7-6 season that saw MSU lose five games by a combined 13 points. If the Spartans can win at Notre Dame on Sept. 21, they could be 8-0 when they welcome Michigan on Nov. 2.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan’s 2013 football slate sets up for a fast start. In fact, it’s not crazy to think Michigan could be 6-1 or maybe even 7-0 as it travels Michigan State to begin a run of five November games that shape up to be as tough as any team’s in the nation. It’s nice to have heavies like Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State all coming to Ann Arbor. The November menu features the Wolverines three toughest Legends competitors in a row: at MSU; Nebraska; at Northwestern.
Iowa may be hard-pressed to get bowl eligible coming off a disappointing 4-8 season, the program’s worst since 2000. Keep an eye on the trip to Minnesota on Sept. 28 in the Big Ten opener. This game figures to set the tone. Iowa beat the Golden Gophers and claimed Floyd of Rosedale last season but has lost the last two games in Minneapolis. These are two teams trying to climb over each other in the loaded Legends Division. Iowa’s cross-over games also have gotten appreciably more difficult, as the Hawkeyes have picked up Ohio State and Wisconsin—arguably the two best teams in the Leaders Division.
Kevin Wilson is making strides as he enters his third season in Bloomington in search of his first winning record with what should be a strong offense. But the schedule is tough. IU has one of the toughest Big Ten road slates possible—Michigan State; Michigan; Wisconsin; Ohio State. Lord have mercy!
This is a big year for Illinois’ Tim Beckman, who shook up his staff after debuting with a 2-10 overall record and going 0-8 in the Big Ten. The schedule is built for a nice start, as six of the first seven contests are home games—including a tilt in Chicago. But it’s November that could make or break the Fighting Illini. Yes, three of the five games are on the road—but three games are winnable: at Indiana; at Purdue; vs. Northwestern. And Illinois needs to cash in if it hopes to play in a bowl.
In a move that had been speculated for months with Rutgers and Maryland poised to join the Big Ten and make it a 14-team league in 2014, the conference is apparently set to announce divisional realignment based on geography. Conference presidents and chancellors will reportedly vote on the divisions, new division names, and an expanded league schedule format on Sunday.
Talking on his radio show last night, Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez said that Big Ten A.D.s have agreed to stop scheduling FCS schools in the future. Alvarez gave no indication on when Big Ten schools would stop playing FCS foes. But, it can’t happen soon enough in what often are little more than glorified scrimmages.
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The announcement last week that Nebraska and Oklahoma were renewing their rivalry was great news. The teams will meet on Sept. 18, 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2022.
Scheduling is everything in college football. And Nebraska’s 2013 slate figures to give the Cornhuskers a big advantage. Nebraska will open next season with five home games, not venturing on the road until playing at Purdue on Oct. 12. In all, the Huskers will play eight home games in 2013. That’s quite an advantage. Nebraska also played eight home games in 2008.
The Big Ten enhanced its postseason situation with news that the ACC and the Orange Bowl committee will consider a team from the Big Ten to serve as a potential participant in the game beginning with the 2014 season. Of course, the Big Ten already has a spot in the Rose Bowl, giving the Big Ten ties to two prestigious bowls.
We’ve reached the end of the road with my super-early schedule analysis for every week of the 2012 college football season. The last week of the Big Ten Football season is, more times than not, dominanted by one thing: Michigan vs. Ohio State.
We are winding down my weekly looks at the 2012 Big Ten college football season with Week 12 of my 2012 schedule analysis. Read the rest of this post for my top expected stories, my game of the week, the best quarterback and coordinator matchups, as well as my upset alert and game rankings. Look back at my explorations of weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 right now.
The more I really dig into each week of the 2012 Big Ten college football season with my schedule analysis, the more excited I get about football. In this post I look at Week 11 with my usual categories: top expected stories, my game of the week (hint: it involves the two teams in the video in this post), best quarterback and coordinator matchups, my upset alert, and my game rankings.
Another day, another opportunity to look ahead to the 2012 college football season. Today, I continue to explore each week of the Big Ten campaign with a detailed look at Week 10. Be sure to catch these games: Nebraska at Michigan State and Penn State at Purdue. Don’t remember what happened the last time the Huskers and Spartans battled? Watch the highlights now. Oh, and don’t forget to look back at my first nine weekly schedule previews. Find Week 10 in this post.
My preview of Week 9 in the 2012 Big Tenn football season explores a number of very intriguing angles, including the rematch between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Watch this video to relive last year’s regular season thriller and dive deeper into this post to see the Big Ten Championship highlights. All 12 schools are in action for the first time since Week 3, and this looks like perhaps one of the best weeks on the schedule. If you want to look back at my first eight weekly schedule previews, look at my Schedule Analysis section. Find Week 9 in this post.
I continue to explore each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season with a look at Week 8. Check out these games: Michigan State at Michigan. Penn State at Iowa. Nebraska at Northwestern. Yeah, it’s a going to be another good one. If you want to look back at the first seven weekly schedule previews, look at my Schedule Analysis section. Find Week 8 in this post.
Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’m taking a super-early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. I’ve already completed the first six weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6 – and now it’s time to take a look at Week 7. Find it in this post.
Football season can’t come soon enough. To help get everyone ready for the 2012 season, I’m taking a very early look at each week’s slate of games. I’ve already done the first five weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5 – and now it’s time to consider Week 6. Find it in this post.
I’m continuing my super-early look at each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season as a way to preview the entire campaign. Here’s my Week 4 schedule analysis in this post and watch our feature on Michigan State’s memorable 2010 win over Notre Dame now. And you can catch up by looking back now at my Week 1, Week 2 Week 3 posts.
Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’m taking a super-early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. Find my Week 3 schedule analysis in this post and watch our feature on Michigan State’s memorable 2010 win over Notre Dame now. Here’s my Week 1 and Week 2 posts, too, if you missed them.