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Big Ten Prime Time Football Games Announced

Yes, Purdue is in the Big Ten, but you would not know it from the prime time TV schedule.

Cory Seward/Getty Images

This morning the Big Ten Network announced its prime time football schedule for this coming fall. It includes the following 10 games:


Time (ET)


Saturday, Sept. 3

8:00 PM

Fresno State at Nebraska

Saturday, Sept. 10

7:30 PM

Iowa State at Iowa

Saturday, Sept. 10

7:30 PM

North Carolina at Illinois

Saturday, Sept. 17

8:00 PM

Duke at Northwestern

Saturday, Sept. 24

7:30 PM

Nebraska at Northwestern

Saturday, Oct. 1

8:00 PM

Michigan State at Indiana

Saturday, Oct. 22

7:30 PM

Michigan State at Maryland

Saturday, Nov. 5

7:30 PM

Iowa at Penn State

Saturday, Nov. 12

7:30 PM

Minnesota at Nebraska

Saturday, Nov. 19

8:00 PM

Penn State at Rutgers

There are two other games that are considered "Prime Time" too, with Oregon State at Minnesota on Thursday, September 1 and Furman at Michigan State on Friday, September 2, for a total of 12 on BTN. This all comes after the following games were announced as prime time contests on ESPN networks:

Date Time (ET) Matchup
Sat, Oct. 8 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. No. 3 Michigan at Rutgers
Sat, Oct. 15 8 p.m. No. 10 Ohio State at Wisconsin
Sat, Oct. 22 8 p.m. No. 10 Ohio State at Penn State
Sat, Oct. 29 5:30 p.m. Northwestern at No. 10 Ohio State
7 p.m. Nebraska at Wisconsin
Sat, Nov. 5 8 p.m. Nebraska at No. 10 Ohio State
Sat, Nov. 12 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. No.3 Michigan at No. 17 Iowa

There is a notable absence here among 18 different games: No Purdue. I recognize that we're not exactly a huge draw right now, but the short-sightedness of Morgan Burke to not have permanent lights like all but Michigan State and Northwestern (and Michigan State is getting them) comes through again. Here is how it breaks down across the Big Ten:

School Prime Time Games Prime Time Home Games
Illinois 1 1
Indiana 1 1
Iowa 3 2
Maryland 1 1
Michigan 2
Michigan State 3 1
Minnesota 2 1
Nebraska 5 2
Northwstern 3 2
Ohio State 4 2
Penn State 3 2
Rutgers 2 2
Wisconsin 2 2

So yes, everyone in the conference has at least one prime time game. Everyone in the conference except Michigan has at least one prime time HOME game, and Michigan, with permanent lights and the Harbaugh factor, can easily have one shifted by ESPN later one, perhaps on October 1 when they host Wisconsin or September 24 when they host Penn State.

Even Northwestern, with trickier logistics because of their stadium's location, is getting two night games without permanent lights, and they are with BTN, who does not pay for them.

But enough about lighting. It is a sad, sad testament to Purdue football in general when we are the only team in the conference that does not get a prime time game. Yes, I recognize we need to wins some games to get there, but come on. Rutgers and Maryland were hardly better and they get them. You mean to tell me we can't go to BTN and be like, "Okay, just give us one." Michigan State crushing Furman by 30 or so is more of a draw, apparently. The Big Ten's longest tenured athletic director in his final season appears to have not even fought for his school to get a spotlight game that can have all kinds of benefits to recruiting, not to mention MORE BUTTS IN THE SEATS!!!!

Morgan will be perfectly happy with seven noon home games in front of 20,000 people though.

I am too angry to go on. Take it over, commentariat.