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Purdue Fills 2017 & 2018 Schedules with Delicious MACtion

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Purdue officially has games scheduled as far out as 2027.

Yes, Purdue has a game scheduled far out enough that Baylen Brees could be the starting quarterback for it.
Yes, Purdue has a game scheduled far out enough that Baylen Brees could be the starting quarterback for it.
Elsa/Getty Images

The MAC is the bread and butter of non-conference scheduling in the Big Ten. With this being the final season of only eight conference games it makes things a little easier to plan, but since most Power Five conference programs are trying to schedule at least one out of conference game against a Power Five team it generally leaves just a couple of spots each season.

Fortunately, Purdue has them covered.

I was scanning the revamped Purdue sports website and noticed that a couple of open dates for upcoming seasons have been filled. First, there is 2016:

2016
Sept. 3 - EASTERN KENTUCKY
Sept. 10 - CINCINNATI
Sept. 24 - NEVADA
Oct. 1 - at Maryland
Oct. 8 - at Illinois
Oct. 15 - IOWA (Homecoming)
Oct. 22 - at Nebraska
Oct. 29 - PENN STATE
Nov. 5 - at Minnesota
Nov. 12 - NORTHWESTERN
Nov. 19 - WISCONSIN
Nov. 26 - at Indiana

Say goodbye to the FCS. The game next season against Eastern Kentucky, likely a contract left over from when we hired Danny Hope away from there, is probably the last game ever for Purdue against the lower division. The Boilers have Indiana State this season and EKU next year, but according to the Big Ten, that's it:

In the most stringent scheduling criteria among all Power Five conferences, Big Ten teams have committed to play nine league games, one mandated nonconference game against a fellow power league and no longer schedule Football Championship Subdivision opponents beginning in 2016, Commissioner Jim Delany said Friday.

The EKU game is staying (for now) because it was on a prior contract, but it could change. Also, since Purdue has five Big Ten road games in even-numbered years it likely means Purdue will do all within its power to stay home for all three non-conference games. The Nevada game here is the first of a home-and-home, while the Cincinnati game is the return from the 2013 season opener in Cincy. Finally, Maryland appears on the conference schedule for the first time, and only the second time since the 2006 Champs Sports Bowl.

2017

Sept. 2 vs. Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium
Sept. 9 - OHIO
Sept. 16 - at Missouri
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

Ohio gives Purdue some delicious MACtion and is the only semi-easy game on the schedule. Playing Louisville, even on a neutral field in Indy, and going to Missouri is manly. Purdue gets only six home games for the first time since 2005. This also marks Purdue's first ever game with Rutgers.

2018
Sept. 1 - NORTHWESTERN
Sept. 8 - EASTERN MICHIGAN
Sept. 15 - MISSOURI
Sept. 29 - at Nebraska
Oct. 13 - at Illinois
Oct. 20 - OHIO STATE
Oct. 27 - at Michigan State
Nov. 3 - IOWA
Nov. 10 - at Minnesota
Nov. 17 - WISCONSIN
Nov. 24 - at Indiana

The MACtion continues where with the announcement that Purdue will host Eastern Michigan. the Eagles are one of the worst programs at the FBS level and Purdue beat them handily in 2012. Ohio State comes back on the schedule for the first time since 2013 and the return game with Missouri is here. There is still an open slot, and it is likely going to be a home game to keep the 7 home/ 5 away model intact, especially with the Louisville game in 2017 costing Purdue the seventh home game. I predict more MACtion or the home date for a future home and home.

2019
Aug. 31 - at Nevada
Sept. 28 - MINNESOTA
Oct. 5 - at Penn State
Oct. 12 - MARYLAND
Oct. 19 - at Iowa
Oct. 26 - ILLINOIS
Nov. 2 - NEBRASKA
Nov. 9 - at Northwestern
Nov. 23 - at Wisconsin
Nov. 30 - INDIANA

This schedule has Maryland's first trip to West Lafayette and the return trip to Nevada from their 2016 visit to WL. The date has not been confirmed yet, but the second non-conference game will tentatively be against Vanderbilt. Since Purdue is already going on the road once in non-conference play we can expect to play the Commodores in West Lafayette. The third non-conference game is not set, but expect some MACtion.

2020
Sept. 19 - NOTRE DAME

2021
Sept. 18 - at Notre Dame

2023
Sept. 9 - at Virginia Tech

2024
Sept. 14 - NOTRE DAME

2025
Sept. 13 - at Notre Dame

2026
Sept. 12 - WAKE FOREST
TBA - vs. Notre Dame (neutral site)

2027
Sept. 2 or 4 - at Wake Forest

There are no more Big Ten schedules announced beyond 2019, but since Purdue will have five Big Ten road games in even-numbered years we can expect three home non-conference games in almost every even-numbered years.

The Notre Dame series returns in 2020 with the Fighting Irish returning to West Lafayette. Does Purdue go on the road to Vanderbilt in this season as a return, giving up a seventh home game?

In 2021 Purdue's non-conference road game is set with a trip to South Bend for the first time since 2012. The other two non-conference games will likely be at home.

There are non-conference games at all announced for 2022. By this point the Big Ten could consist of 20 teams anyway, including four on Venus.

In 2023 Virginia Tech finally gets their home game back after coming to West Lafayette this year. The eight years is nothing compared to the 13 years rice waited from their 1998 visit until Purdue went to Houston in 2011.

In 2024 Notre Dame is back, this time in West Lafayette.

In 2025 Purdue goes to South Bend, thus pushing back the possible odd-year return date with Vanderbilt even further.

Yes, we have TWO games for 2026, with Wake Forest coming to Purdue for the first time since 2002 and a neutral site game against Notre Dame. The neutral site could be in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, Dublin, or in the new moon stadium built by the cryogenically frozen Jerry Jones for the Cowboys.

In 2027 Purdue will head to Winston-Salem for the first time since 2003 to face Wake Forest. By this point a few things could easily be in play:

  • Ross-Ade Stadium may or may not have lights, depending on if Morgan Burke is STILL in charge.
  • We will either be in year 15 of Darrell Hazell, making his tenure three years longer than Joe Tiller, our winningest coach ever, or we could be on the third coach after him.
  • Purdue's possible freshman quarterback in 2027? Baylen Brees.

Finally, 2029 is the earliest possible date for the trip to Nashville to play Vanderbilt if the first game in 2019 is in West Lafayette and Purdue maintains the current scheduling cycle.

I will be 50 years old then, and my son will (hopefully) be a 16-year-old highly recruited point guard.