Sizing up conference schedules in wide-open Big Ten West

Sizing up conference schedules in wide-open Big Ten West

Look around the college football landscape, and one won’t find a more unpredictable division than the Big Ten West.

A case can be made for nearly every team, from Indy-regular Wisconsin to up-and-coming Purdue. In the end, in a division that figures to be deep and competitive, it could come down to the crossovers.

This year, it’s the West’s turn to host two of the three games versus the East.

Here’s a look at the West teams’ slates:

ILLINOIS
Home: Nebraska; Wisconsin; Northwestern
Away: Minnesota; Purdue, Iowa
Crossovers: vs. Michigan; vs. Rutgers; at Michigan State

IOWA
H: Purdue; Minnesota; Illinois
A: Northwestern; Wisconsin; Nebraska
C: vs. Rutgers; at Michigan; vs. Penn State

MINNESOTA
H: Illinois; Nebraska; Wisconsin
A: Purdue; Iowa; Northwestern
C: at Rutgers; vs. Maryland; vs. Penn State

NEBRASKA
H: Northwestern; Wisconsin; Iowa
A: Illinois; Minnesota; Purdue
C: vs. Ohio State; vs. Indiana; at Maryland

NORTHWESTERN
H: Iowa; Purdue; Minnesota
A: Wisconsin, Nebraska; Illinois
C: vs. Michigan State; vs. Ohio State; at Indiana

PURDUE
H: Minnesota; Illinois; Nebraska
A: Iowa; Northwestern; Wisconsin
C: at Penn State; vs. Maryland; vs. Indiana

WISCONSIN
H: Northwestern; Iowa; Purdue
A: Illinois; Nebraska; Minnesota
C: vs. Michigan; vs. Michigan State; at Ohio State

Here are some quick takeaways:

1. Wisconsin’s crossovers (vs. Michigan; vs. Michigan State; at Ohio State) are as hard as it gets – even with the two home dates.

2. Iowa (Northwestern; Wisconsin; Nebraska; Michigan) and Purdue (Iowa; Northwestern; Wisconsin; Penn State) have the most challenging away games.

3. Nebraska has the most favorable intradivision draws (H: Northwestern; Wisconsin; Iowa | A: Illinois; Minnesota; Purdue).

4. Minnesota has the most manageable crossovers (at Rutgers; vs, Maryland; vs. Penn State).

Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor

BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for BTN.com. Find all of his work here. Follow him on Twitter, too (@BTNBrentYarina). Looking for BTN on TV or tablet? Bookmark our TV schedule and BTN2Go event schedule.

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