Big Ten 2016, 2017 football schedules: Michigan State returns

Gregory Shamus

The other, more enticing Border Battle returns. That alone is cause for celebration.

The Big Ten released the conference football schedules for 2016 and 2017 on Thursday, and that's notable for a few reasons. One, it indicates football will still be played then. Two, 2016 is the first season of nine-game conference play. Three, the actually exciting Border Battle vs. Michigan State returns!

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Just great news. The best I've heard all day.

Full Big Ten schedules: 2016 2017

GIFs aside, here are Wisconsin's full schedules:

2016

DATE OPPONENT
Oct. 1 at Michigan
Oct. 8 at Michigan State
Oct. 15 Ohio State
Oct. 22 at Iowa
Oct. 29 Nebraska
Nov. 5 at Northwestern
Nov. 12 Illinois
Nov. 19 at Purdue
Nov. 26 Minnesota
Dec. 3 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Crossovers: at Michigan, at Michigan State, Ohio State
No plays: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers

2017

DATE OPPONENT
Sept. 30 Northwestern
Oct. 7 at Nebraska
Oct. 14 Purdue
Oct. 21 Maryland
Oct. 28 at Illinois
Nov. 4 at Indiana
Nov. 11 Iowa
Nov. 18 Michigan
Nov. 25 at Minnesota
Dec. 2 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Crossovers: Maryland, at Indiana, Michigan
No plays: Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers

Major takeaways here, in no particular order and with the caveat that this is all three and four years down the road, so we're really not totally sure how good any of these teams will be:

  • Parity-based scheduling, y'all. After the whole Internet minus the Badgersphere went nuts (probably justifiably so) about Wisconsin's soft upcoming schedules, it evens out here. Conference-wide, the marquee games in 2016 seem to be Ohio State-Nebraska, Wisconsin-Michigan, Michigan State-Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Ohio State. In 2017, we get Ohio State-Nebraska and Wisconsin-Michigan again, plus Penn State-Nebraska.
  • My goodness, the beginning to 2016 conference play: at Michigan, at Michigan State, vs. Ohio State, at Iowa, vs. Nebraska, at Northwestern. That's not even the beginning, that's more than halfway through. Dayum.
  • Wisconsin also plays AT Virginia Tech in Week 2 of 2016 (Sept. 10). DAYUM.
  • I crapped on Minnesota in the headline and and the first paragraph above, but it is nevertheless exciting to see rivalry games league-wide played on the final weeks of the regular season.
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