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Big Ten announces 2015 football schedule: Wisconsin opens with Iowa, gets Rutgers again

The dates and opponents for the conference's second season with 14 teams has been announced. Only one Big Ten game will be played before October, and the Badgers will host three home games in October.

David Purdy

Slightly more than two weeks after announcing the conference's 2014 football schedule, the Big Ten released the full dates and opponents for the 2015 slate on Monday.

Wisconsin will host Iowa on Oct. 3, 2015, to open conference play and bring the Hawkeyes back to Madison for the first time since 2009. The Badgers will also have two more home games that month, Oct. 17 vs. Purdue and Oct. 31 vs. Rutgers. The highlight of that month figures to be an Oct. 10 trip to Nebraska, Wisconsin's first since last season. Two weeks later, the Badgers will play at Illinois.

To open November, Wisconsin gets its first taste of Maryland with a Nov. 7 trip to College Park. That means for the second straight year, Wisconsin's two crossover opponents from the East Division are the two newbies, Maryland and Rutgers.

After a bye, Wisconsin will host Northwestern and travel to Minnesota for the regular-season finale. The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will also be decided in the final week of the regular season in 2014.

Oct. 3 IOWA
Oct. 10 at Nebraska
Oct. 17 PURDUE
Oct. 24 at Illinois
Nov. 7 at Maryland
Nov. 14 BYE
Nov. 28 at Minnesota
Dec. 5 Big Ten Championship Game
Indianapolis, Ind.

Conference-wide, Minnesota gets a tough draw with Ohio State and Michigan as its crossover games. Rutgers also gets Wisconsin and Nebraska from the West Division, again indicating that the regular-season schedule makers aren't so concerned with nicely introducing the new members to the conference.

For Wisconsin's 2015, non-confernece slate we know the Badgers will travel to Dallas for a season-opening, neutral-site extravaganza vs. Alabama Sept. 5 at Cowboys Stadium. A Sept. 19 home game with Washington State is the only other set date for non-conference play, leaving Sept. 12 and 26 vacant for now.