Big Ten releases 2018, 2019 conference football schedules

USA TODAY Sports

Start planning.

The Big Ten released its football schedules for 2018 and '19 Wednesday, providing a glimpse into how the future will look once the conference settles into life with 14 members and nine-game league schedules.

In 2018, Big Ten play gets underway Sept. 1 with the conference championship game set for Dec. 1. The following year, the conference season begins Sept. 7 with the title game Dec. 7.

2018

DATE OPPONENT (home games in BOLD CAPS)
Sept. 22 at Iowa
Sept. 29 BYE
OCT. 6
NEBRASKA
Oct. 13 at Michigan*
OCT. 20 Illinois
Oct. 27 at Northwestern
NOV. 3
RUTGERS*
Nov. 10 at Penn State*
Nov. 17 at Purdue
NOV. 24 MINNESOTA
Dec. 1 Big Ten Championship Game

*Crossover games

2019

DATE OPPONENT (home games in BOLD CAPS)
SEPT. 21 MICHIGAN*
SEPT. 28 NORTHWESTERN
Oct. 5
BYE
OCT. 12 MICHIGAN STATE*
Oct. 19 at Illinois
Oct. 26 at Ohio State*
Nov. 2
BYE
NOV. 9
IOWA
Nov. 16 at Nebraska
NOV. 23 PURDUE
Nov. 30 at Minnesota
Dec. 7 Big Ten Championship Game

*Crossover games

Thoughts:

  • So the Big Ten must not like the Wisconsin-Ohio State rivalry that much, considering the two teams won't meet in 2014, 2015, 2017 or 2018...
  • Wisconsin starts both seasons with, at the very least, intriguing match-ups. Playing at Iowa City is always interesting (and fun for tailgating), while Nebraska and a trip to Michigan open 2018's slate. The following year, hosts Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State.
  • Yes, three home games and a trip to Illinois, plus a bye, begin 2019. Then comes the trip to Ohio State Oct. 26, which means the Badgers could already have a hefty win total.
  • Refreshers for those who need it (probably a lot of us): the conference grows to 14 members in 2014 with the additions of Maryland Rutgers; the nine-game conference schedule begins in 2016, with East Division teams hosting five conference home games in even-numbered years and West Division teams doing the same in odd-numbered years and this all allows every student-athlete to play every other Big Ten team in the span of four years. Also beginning in 2016, each team will have three annual crossover games.
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