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2012 Big Ten Legends Schedule Breakdown
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 24, 2012


Breakdowns and analysis of each Big Ten Legends schedule


2012 Big Ten Schedules - Legends

Leaders Illinois | Indiana | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin
Legends Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota | Nebraska | Northwestern

Big Ten Composite Schedules  2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
Big Ten Team-By-Team Breakdowns  2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

- 2012 Big Ten Leaders Division Breakdown & Analysis
- 2012 Big Ten Legends Division Breakdown & Analysis
- 2012 Big Ten Composite Schedule & Week Rankings 

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Iowa

Non-Conference Games: Central Michigan, Iowa State, Northern Illinois (in Chicago), Northern Iowa
Games Against The Leaders: at Indiana, Penn State, Purdue
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, at Indiana, Purdue

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: at Michigan State, at Northwestern, at Michigan, Nebraska

Summary: The Hawkeyes might need some work and have some rebuilding to do, but the schedule will make life a lot easier.

Winning the Legends might be out of the question with road games at Michigan State and Michigan, but it’s Merry Christmas time in interdivisional play getting Indiana, Purdue, and a hurting Penn State – while missing Wisconsin and Ohio State. There’s a rough late stretch of four road games in six weeks, but it’s coming off a week off to prepare and trips to Northwestern and Indiana are winnable.

If all goes perfectly, the first half of the year won’t be a problem as long as the Hawkeyes don’t gag again against Minnesota and can get through pesky dates with Northern Illinois, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa. The game against the Cyclones is the toughest non-conference game by far, and there aren’t any true road games before mid-October with the NIU game in Chicago.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 Northern Illinois (in Chicago)
Sep. 8 Iowa State
Sep. 15 Northern Iowa
Sep. 22 Central Michigan
Sep. 29 Minnesota
Oct. 6 OPEN DATE
Oct. 13 at Michigan State
Oct. 20 Penn State
Oct. 27 at Northwestern
Nov. 3 at Indiana
Nov. 10 Purdue
Nov. 17 at Michigan
Nov. 23 Nebraska

Michigan

Non-Conference Games: Air Force, Alabama (Arlington, TX), Massachusetts, at Notre Dame
Games Against The Leaders: Illinois, at Ohio State, at Purdue
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 10-2

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: Air Force, Massachusetts, at Notre Dame, at Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, at Nebraska, at Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: Alabama, at Ohio State

Summary: Michigan has the talent and the ability to come up with a great season, but it could be a special year with a win in the opener over Alabama in Arlington. Air Force isn’t a layup to follow, but the Falcons have some rebuilding to do. UMass is the final tune-up before the trip to Notre Dame in one of the most anticipated games of the season.

The week off comes before the start of the Big Ten season, which is nice, but it would’ve been better before the trip to Nebraska or the showdown against Ohio State. The yearly date with the Buckeyes from the Leaders is made that much harder because it’s on the road and it’ll be the OSU’s bowl game. Missing Wisconsin is a break, and the division play won’t kick in until mid-October after starting out against Purdue and Illinois. Going to Nebraska will be a problem in the fight to win the Legends, especially after facing Michigan State.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 Alabama (Arlington, TX)
Sep. 8 Air Force
Sep. 15 Massachusetts
Sep. 22 at Notre Dame
Sep. 29 OPEN DATE
Oct. 6 at Purdue
Oct. 13 Illinois
Oct. 20 Michigan State
Oct. 27 at Nebraska
Nov. 3 at Minnesota
Nov. 10 Northwestern
Nov. 17 Iowa
Nov. 24 at Ohio State

Michigan State

Non-Conference Games: Boise State, at Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame
Games Against The Leaders: at Indiana, Ohio State, at Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 10-2

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: Boise State, at Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Ohio State, at Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, at Minnesota

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: at Michigan, at Wisconsin

Summary: The Spartans might have some retooling to do, but no one loses more starting talent than Boise State. Even so, the Broncos will be looking to make a statement in the season opener. The Spartans only leave the state of Michigan once until the end of October – going to Indiana – and gets all the huge games over the first half of the season at home. Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Iowa, along with Boise State, have to come to East Lansing, and the Spartans have to take advantage with a hot start before the tough midseason stretch.

Nebraska also has to go to MSU, but that comes after road games at Michigan and Wisconsin. Playing the Buckeyes and Badgers from the Leaders is an awful break, but it’s offset a bit by getting the break against Indiana. The week off comes at an odd time at the end of the year before closing out against Northwestern and Minnesota.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 Boise State
Sep. 8 at Central Michigan
Sep. 15 Notre Dame
Sep. 22 Eastern Michigan
Sep. 29 Ohio State
Oct. 6 at Indiana
Oct. 13 Iowa
Oct. 20 at Michigan
Oct. 27 at Wisconsin
Nov. 3 Nebraska
Nov. 10 OPEN DATE
Nov. 17 Northwestern
Nov. 24 at Minnesota

Minnesota

Non-Conference Games: New Hampshire, Syracuse, at UNLV, Western Michigan
Games Against The Leaders: at Illinois, Purdue, at Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 2-10
Likely Finish: 4-8

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: at UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Northwestern

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: Syracuse, at Iowa, at Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan, at Illinois, at Nebraska, Michigan State

Summary: Can the Gophers get off to a hot start? They showed last year that they could lose to anyone, and it’s not a lock by any stretch that they can get by an experienced UNLV on the road to kick things off or against New Hampshire in the home opener. The UM offense will have to gear it up for Western Michigan, and then comes the supposedly hard non-conference date with Syracuse.

Can Minnesota pull off another shocking win over Iowa? If not, there’s a week off before hosting Northwestern in a must-win game before going to Wisconsin. There aren’t any major problems with road stretches, with back-to-back dates with Illinois and Nebraska in mid-November the only issue, but that’s sandwiched in between nasty home games with Michigan and Michigan State. There’s no Ohio State from the Leaders, and getting Purdue and Illinois isn’t that bad.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 at UNLV
Sep. 8 New Hampshire
Sep. 15 Western Michigan
Sep. 22 Syracuse
Sep. 29 at Iowa
Oct. 6 OPEN DATE
Oct. 13 Northwestern
Oct. 20 at Wisconsin
Oct. 27 Purdue
Nov. 3 Michigan
Nov. 10 at Illinois
Nov. 17 at Nebraska
Nov. 24 Michigan State

Nebraska

Non-Conference Games: Arkansas State, Idaho State, Southern Miss, at UCLA
Games Against The Leaders: at Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: Southern Miss, at UCLA, Arkansas State, Idaho State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Minnesota, at Iowa

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: at Ohio State, at Northwestern, Michigan, at Michigan State

Summary: The Huskers can be forgiven to add Idaho State to the non-conference schedule. There aren’t any real breaks with a sneaky-tough pre-Big Ten slate with Conference USA champion Southern Miss to start, a huge game for the Jim Mora era at UCLA, and then a date with Sun Belt champ Arkansas State. And then the fun starts.

The Big Ten schedule couldn’t be harder getting the three best teams from the Leaders – Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin – and going on the road to face the Buckeyes, Michigan State, and Iowa. Coming off a showdown with Michigan, the trip to Northwestern could be a landmine.

While the Huskers won’t be at home once from October 6th to mid-November, there’s a decent late stretch of three home games in four weeks before closing out at Iowa. Holding serve in Lincoln will be a must to have any dream of winning the Legends.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 Southern Miss
Sep. 8 at UCLA
Sep. 15 Arkansas State
Sep. 22 Idaho State
Sep. 29 Wisconsin
Oct. 6 at Ohio State
Oct. 13 OPEN DATE
Oct. 20 at Northwestern
Oct. 27 Michigan
Nov. 3 at Michigan State
Nov. 10 Penn State
Nov. 17 Minnesota
Nov. 23 at Iowa

Northwestern

Non-Conference Games: Boston College, South Dakota, at Syracuse, Vanderbilt,
Games Against The Leaders: Illinois, at Michigan, at Michigan State
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6

Pre-Spring Projected Wins: Boston College, South Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois

Pre-Spring Projected Losses: at Syracuse, Vanderbilt, at Penn State, at Minnesota, at Michigan, at Michigan State

Summary: The Wildcats have a manageable schedule, but they have to win all the games against the teams they’re able to beat. They can win at Syracuse, and they’re good enough to beat Vanderbilt, Boston College, South Dakota, and Indiana. Does that mean a 5-0 start? No – 3-2 is more likely - but it wouldn’t be crazy.

Getting Indiana, Illinois, and Penn State from the Leaders is a nice break, missing both Ohio State and Wisconsin, but the payback comes late in the year with back-to-back road games at Michigan and Michigan State to erase any dreams of taking the division. Can NU beat Penn State and Minnesota on the road? It’s possible, and home wins over Nebraska and Iowa wouldn’t be stunning, but those could easily be losses, too. In other words, there will be several toss-ups, and the Wildcats can’t afford to give away any games.

2012 Schedule
Sep. 1 at Syracuse
Sep. 8 Vanderbilt
Sep. 15 Boston College
Sep. 22 South Dakota
Sep. 29 Indiana
Oct. 6 at Penn State
Oct. 13 at Minnesota
Oct. 20 Nebraska
Oct. 27 Iowa
Nov. 3 OPEN DATE
Nov. 10 at Michigan
Nov. 17 at Michigan State
Nov. 24 Illinois 

- 2012 Big Ten Leaders Division Breakdown & Analysis 
- 2012 Big Ten Composite Schedule & Week Rankings