Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 22, 2015

It was a thankless task, but someone had to do it. Someone had to take a stab at ranking each and every Big Ten league game-all 56–in 2015.

[ MORE: Get all of our 2015 preseason Big Ten football coverage ]

Today, in the first of a three-part series, I'm looking at games 56-31. Thursday, it will be 30-11; Friday, I'll offer my top 10.

Let's get started!

56. Purdue at Wisconsin, Oct. 17. The Badgers have won nine in a row vs. the Boilermakers, outscoring them 321-110 in the process. Purdue?s last win in Madison came in 2003 when Joe Tiller beat Barry Alvarez.

55. Rutgers at Indiana, Oct. 17. The Hoosiers fell at Rutgers last season, 45-23, despite getting 307 yards rushing from Tevin Coleman. This will be the Scarlet Knights? first trip to Bloomington.

54. Ohio State at Illinois, Nov. 14. Ohio State and Illinois will play for the prized turtle Illibuck. The Buckeyes have won the last seven meetings. In fact, Ohio State hasn?t lost in Champaign since 1991.

53. Purdue at Michigan State, Oct. 3. The Spartans have won six in a row vs. Purdue in a clash between programs trending in the opposite direction.

52. Rutgers at Wisconsin, Oct. 31. Wisconsin whacked Rutgers last year, taking a 37-0 decision in Piscataway fueled by 298 yards rushing. This will be the Scarlet Knights? first trip to Madison.

51. Indiana at Michigan State, Oct. 24. Michigan State has won six in a row and 14 of 16 from the Hoosiers. But one of those triumphs was in East Lansing in 2001.

50. Purdue at Northwestern, Nov. 14. Northwestern is 3-1 in its last four games vs. Purdue. But the last time the Boilermakers visited Evanston in 2010, they won.

49. Ohio State at Rutgers, Oct. 24. Rutgers lost 56-17 last year at Ohio State. Enough said.

48. Wisconsin at Illinois, Oct. 24. The Fighting Illini have just three wins vs. Wisconsin since 1992 (3-14-1).

47. Illinois at Purdue, Nov. 7. Illinois and Purdue have battled annually for the Cannon since 1943. The Boilermakers have won three of the last four meetings. In fact, last year?s win in Champaign is the only Big Ten victory in Darrell Hazell?s two-year Purdue tenure.

46. Nebraska at Rutgers, Nov. 14. Nebraska whipped Rutgers, 42-24, last year in Lincoln. Now, the Cornhuskers will make their first trip to Piscataway, New Jersey. Nebraska did play ?at? Rutgers in 1920, but it was in New York City, as the Huskers prevailed, 28-0.

45. Ohio State at Indiana, Oct. 3. Indiana went 2-1-1 vs. Ohio State from 1987-90-including a victory in Columbus in 1987. Since then, the Hoosiers have lost 20 in a row to the Buckeyes. All that aside, don't forget that Indiana led Ohio State, 20-14, midway through the third quarter last season at Ohio Stadium.

44. Michigan at Indiana, Nov. 14. Since 1968, Indiana has one win vs. Michigan-coming in 1987 in Bloomington. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 54-9.

43. Michigan State at Rutgers, Oct. 10. Michigan State won 45-3 last year vs. Rutgers in East Lansing. This will be the Spartans? first trip to RU since 2004, when they lost 19-14.

42. Minnesota at Purdue, Oct. 10. Minnesota has won four of the last six vs. Purdue. This will be the Golden Gophers? first trip to West Lafayette since 2011.

41. Purdue at Iowa, Nov. 21. Iowa has won two in a row and four of five from Purdue. But the last time the Boilermakers were in Iowa City-in 2012-they won.

40. Indiana at Penn State, Oct. 10. Penn State is 17-1 vs. Indiana. The lone loss came in Bloomington in 2013. This will be the Hoosiers? first trip to State College since 2012.

39. Nebraska at Purdue, Oct. 31. Nebraska has played Purdue twice since joining the Big Ten-and the Cornhuskers have waxed the Boilermakers each time, winning 44-7 in West Lafayette in 2013 and 35-14 last year in Lincoln.

38. Illinois at Penn State, Oct. 31. Penn State is 14-4 vs. Illinois since joining the Big Ten. The Illini last won in State College in 2010, but Illinois did beat the Nittany Lions last season in Champaign.

37. Indiana at Maryland, Nov. 21. Maryland won at Indiana last season. This will mark the Hoosiers' first trip to College Park since 1934, when IU took a 17-14 decision.

36. Rutgers at Michigan, Nov. 7. This will be Rutgers? first trip to Michigan, which lost in Piscataway last season 26-24.

35. Indiana at Purdue, Nov. 28. Indiana has won two in a row in the series-both in Bloomington. The teams haven?t met in West Lafayette since 2012, the last time Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket. A bowl bid may be on the line at kickoff.

34. Nebraska at Illinois, Oct. 3. Nebraska?s visit to Illinois will be a nice test for the Illinois defensive coordinator tandem of Tim Banks and Mike Phair, who was hired in the offseason from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

33. Illinois at Minnesota, Nov. 21. Minnesota lost at Illinois last season. Before that, the Golden Gophers had won four in a row vs. the Fighting Illini. Illinois last won in the Twin Cities in 2009.

32. Maryland at Ohio State, Oct. 10. The Buckeyes beat the Terrapins, 52-24, last year in the first meeting ever between the schools. Now, they get them at Ohio Stadium.

31. Maryland at Michigan State, Nov. 14. Michigan State is 5-1 vs. Maryland, winning 37-15 in College Park last year in their first Big Ten meeting. This will be the Terrapins? first trip to East Lansing since 1950, when Maryland won, 34-7.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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