Future Big Ten Football Schedules: Purdue Catches HUGE Break

Rob Carr

The Big Ten has released some preliminary schedules for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The Big Ten's new nine-game schedules take effect during the 2016 football season and Purdue has caught some big, big breaks. As we know, Purdue will face Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Northwestern every season, with the Hoosiers being the gift that keeps on giving protected rivalry with the east division. That leaves only two possible opponents from the other six teams in the east.The official dates have not been announced, but we now know our crossover opponents for 2016 and 2017:

2016

East Division

Indiana: Nebraska, at Northwestern, Purdue (protected)
Maryland: Purdue, Minnesota, at Nebraska
Michigan: Wisconsin, Illinois, at Iowa
Michigan State: Wisconsin, Northwestern, at Illinois
Ohio State: at Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska
Penn State: Minnesota, at Purdue, Iowa
Rutgers: Illinois, at Minnesota, Iowa

West Division

Illinois: at Rutgers, at Michigan, Michigan State
Iowa: at Rutgers, at Penn State, Michigan
Minnesota: at Penn State, at Maryland, Rutgers
Nebraska: at Indiana, at Ohio State, Maryland
Northwestern: at Michigan State, Indiana, at Ohio State
Purdue: at Maryland, Penn State, at Indiana (protected)
Wisconsin: at Michigan, at Michigan State, Ohio State

2017

East Division

Indiana: Wisconsin, at Illinois, at Purdue (protected)
Maryland:
at Minnesota, Northwestern, at Wisconsin
Michigan: at Purdue, Minnesota at Wisconsin
Michigan State: Iowa, at Minnesota, at Northwestern
Ohio State: at Nebraska, at Iowa, Illinois
Penn State: at Northwestern, at Iowa, Nebraska
Rutgers: at Nebraska, at Illinois, Purdue

West Division

Illinois: Rutgers, Indiana, at Ohio State
Iowa: at Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
Minnesota: Maryland, Michigan State, at Michigan
Nebraska: Rutgers, Ohio State, at Penn State
Northwestern: Penn State, at Maryland, Michigan State
Purdue: Michigan, at Rutgers, Indiana (protected)
Wisconsin: Maryland, at Indiana, Michigan

ED NOTE: The dates are now out!

2016

Sept. 3 - Cincinnati

Sept. 17 - at Notre Dame

Sept. 24 - Nevada

Oct. 1 - at Maryland

Oct. 8 - at Illinois

Oct. 15 - Iowa

Oct. 22 - at Nebraska

Oct. 29 - Penn State

Nov. 5 - at Minnesota

Nov. 12 - Northwestern

Nov. 19 - Wisconsin

Nov. 26 - at Indiana

2017

Sept. 9 - Eastern Kentucky

TBA - Notre Dame

TBA - Random MACtion

Sept. 23 - Michigan

Oct. 7 - Minnesota

Oct. 14 - at Wisconsin

Oct. 21 - at Rutgers

Oct. 28 - Nebraska

Nov. 4 - Illinois

Nov. 11 - at Northwestern

Nov. 18 - at Iowa

Nov. 25 - Indiana

So let's look at this. the West Division teams will all get five home games in 2017, so that means four home games in 2016. This is where the first possibly wrench comes in to our regular scheduling. Purdue is currently scheduled to play at Notre Dame in 2016 since we go to South Bend in even-numbered years. Will Morgan Burke agree on a six-game home season that year or will the Fighting Irish go off of Purdue's schedule for the first time in over 70 years?

If the Irish do stay on the schedule, the 2017 schedule could feature eight home games to make up for six in 2016. As of now, the 2016 non-conference schedule has home games against Cincinnati (the return for this coming year) and Nevada (where we go to Reno in 2019), while 2017 currently only has Eastern Kentucky (which may get sacrificed if the Big Ten eliminates FCS games as discussed).

In terms of the conference, we honestly could not ask for an easier schedule. In 2016 Purdue does not play Michigan, Ohio State, or Michigan State and gets a Maryland team that is pretty awful of late. In 2017 Ohio State continues to duck us since they can't win in West Lafayette and we pick up Michigan, but lose Penn State.

I am surprised that the Big Ten did not just reverse the schedules so the crossovers become a two-year home-and home, but this is a league that can't figure out how to make sure their top basketball rivalries play twice every year.

The 2017 home season looks to be amazing with the possibility of it including Notre Dame, Indiana, Michigan, and Nebraska all coming to Ross-Ade, hopefully with a new upper deck and lights by then.

The good news is by 2017 I can finally say I have seen a game in every Big Ten Stadium. I will knock off Nebraska in 2014, Iowa in 2015, Maryland in 2016, and Rutgers in 2017.

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