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:
Home: Nebraska; Wisconsin; Northwestern
Away: Minnesota; Purdue, Iowa
Crossovers: vs. Michigan; vs. Rutgers; at Michigan State
H: Purdue; Minnesota; Illinois
A: Northwestern; Wisconsin; Nebraska
C: vs. Rutgers; at Michigan; vs. Penn State
H: Illinois; Nebraska; Wisconsin
A: Purdue; Iowa; Northwestern
C: at Rutgers; vs. Maryland; vs. Penn State
H: Northwestern; Wisconsin; Iowa
A: Illinois; Minnesota; Purdue
C: vs. Ohio State; vs. Indiana; at Maryland
H: Iowa; Purdue; Minnesota
A: Wisconsin, Nebraska; Illinois
C: vs. Michigan State; vs. Ohio State; at Indiana
H: Minnesota; Illinois; Nebraska
A: Iowa; Northwestern; Wisconsin
C: at Penn State; vs. Maryland; vs. Indiana
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).