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!
Just great news. The best I've heard all day.
GIFs aside, here are Wisconsin's full schedules:
|Oct. 1||at Michigan|
|Oct. 8||at Michigan State|
|Oct. 15||Ohio State|
|Oct. 22||at Iowa|
|Nov. 5||at Northwestern|
|Nov. 19||at Purdue|
|Dec. 3||BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME|
Crossovers: at Michigan, at Michigan State, Ohio State
No plays: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers
|Oct. 7||at Nebraska|
|Oct. 28||at Illinois|
|Nov. 4||at Indiana|
|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.