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How To Finally Fix The Big Ten Schedules
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 6, 2009


How cool will it be to see Terrelle Pryor battle against Michigan State's improved D ... oh, wait. Penn State vs. Wisconsin? Iowa vs. Illinois? Those three games aren't going to happen this year. Pete Fiutak shows just how easy it would be to finally change the Big 10 schedule so everyone could play everyone else.

How To Fix The Big Ten Schedule 

- 2009 Big Ten Team-By-Team Schedules
- 2009 Big Ten Composite Schedule & Top Games
- 2008 Big Ten Team-by-Team Schedules & Analysis

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

By Pete Fiutak 


Hey, Big Ten, enough is enough.

You’re not going to take on Notre Dame (or Notre Dame doesn’t want to join you) and you’re not going to play a gimmicky championship game. However, you need to finally make a change and decide your championship on the field by using a round-robin format.

The Pac 10 ditched an extra non-conference game a few years ago and went to a league schedule with nine games (so everyone could play everyone else). While it’s unbalanced with half the teams playing four away games and half being forced to play five, at least everyone gets a shot in the round-robin format. It would be even better for the Big Ten since a ten game conference schedule would allow for an equal number of home games for every team. It would also mean that no one could duck the big boys anymore.

This year, Michigan, who always has to play Ohio State and Michigan State, misses Minnesota and Northwestern, while Purdue gets to bypass Iowa and Penn State, two of the main contenders for the Big Ten title. Illinois doesn’t have to play Iowa or Wisconsin, the Badgers miss Penn State, and worst of all, Michigan State and Ohio State, two of the four best teams in the league this year (Penn State and Iowa being the other two), don’t play.

And then there’s the Big Ten non-conference schedule, which is an absolute and total embarrassment considering most of the big games involve Notre Dame. Yes, every team should have one relative breather to tune up and yes, there is a need for Ohio State to play USC and Illinois to face Missouri to give the conference some big national tests, but there’s no reason Wisconsin should be playing Wofford. Iowa doesn’t have to play Arkansas State, and Northwestern certainly doesn’t need to play Towson.

By ditching the two extra non-conference games there would be some screaming of lost revenue, but to get a ten game conference schedule I’ll allow for Big Ten teams to blow off having to travel for non-conference games if they don’t want to. There is a certain economic reality that has to be thrown into the equation. I’d rather have Minnesota play Michigan for the Little Brown Jug than have to go to Syracuse. Also, considering how most Big Ten teams finish up their seasons on November 21st and with the games that could be played on the 28th, how many coaches would trade a road game for a mid-season bye week that changing things up would likely provide? Probably not many, if any, but an open date would be a nice bonus for some teams.

So, taking everything under advisement, here’s how easy it would be for the Big Ten to finally make things right and come up with a ten game slate.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Big Ten Games Missed: Iowa and Wisconsin
Change: Sept. 19 – Iowa (OPEN DATE, cancel Illinois State on Sept. 12)
Nov. 28 – at Wisconsin (cancel at Cincinnati)

The Illinois wouldn't lose a home game after ditching the road trip to Cincinnati, and it could get a nice off-week early on between Missouri and the Big Ten home opener.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Missouri (St. Louis)
Sept. 12 Illinois State
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Ohio State
Oct. 3 Penn State
Oct. 10 Michigan State
Oct. 17 at Indiana
Oct. 24 at Purdue
Oct. 31 Michigan
Nov. 7 at Minnesota
Nov. 14 Northwestern
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Cincinnati
Dec. 5 Fresno State
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Missouri (St. Louis)
Sept. 12 OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 Iowa
Sept. 26 at Ohio State
Oct. 3 Penn State
Oct. 10 Michigan State
Oct. 17 at Indiana
Oct. 24 at Purdue
Oct. 31 Michigan
Nov. 7 at Minnesota
Nov. 14 Northwestern
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Wisconsin
Dec. 5 Fresno State

Indiana Hoosiers

Big Ten Games Missed: Michigan State, Minnesota
Change: Sept. 5 – Michigan State (cancel Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3)
Nov. 28 – at Minnesota (cancel at Akron on Sept. 19)

The number of home games stays intact after losing the trip to Akron, and while IU would hit the ground running against Michigan State, there's a week off on September 19th. As is, the team doesn't get an off-week.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 3 Eastern Kentucky
Sept. 12 Western Michigan
Sept. 19 at Akron
Sept. 26 at Michigan
Oct. 3 Ohio State
Oct. 10 at Virginia
Oct. 17 Illinois
Oct. 24 at Northwestern
Oct. 31 at Iowa
Nov. 7 Wisconsin
Nov. 14 at Penn State
Nov. 21 Purdue
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Michigan State
Sept. 12 Western Michigan
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Michigan
Oct. 3 Ohio State
Oct. 10 at Virginia
Oct. 17 Illinois
Oct. 24 at Northwestern
Oct. 31 at Iowa
Nov. 7 Wisconsin
Nov. 14 at Penn State
Nov. 21 Purdue
Nov. 28 at Minnesota

Iowa Hawkeyes

Big Ten Games Missed: Illinois, Purdue
Change: Sept. 5 – Purdue (cancel Northern Iowa)
Sept. 19 – at Illinois (cancel Arkansas State on Oct. 3, move Arizona)

It's almost a perfect fit. Arizona would be moved from September 19th to its open date on October 3rd, but iowa would have to play three straight road games before dealing with the Wildcats. The other problem would be lack of an in-season open date that just about everyone else in the league would enjoy.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Northern Iowa
Sept. 12 at Iowa State
Sept. 19 Arizona
Sept. 26 at Penn State
Oct. 3 Arkansas State
Oct. 10 Michigan
Oct. 17 at Wisconsin
Oct. 24 at Michigan State
Oct. 31 Indiana
Nov. 7 Northwestern
Nov. 14 at Ohio State
Nov. 21 Minnesota
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Purdue
Sept. 12 at Iowa State
Sept. 19 at Illinois
Sept. 26 at Penn State
Oct. 3 Arizona
Oct. 10 Michigan
Oct. 17 at Wisconsin
Oct. 24 at Michigan State
Oct. 31 Indiana
Nov. 7 Northwestern
Nov. 14 at Ohio State
Nov. 21 Minnesota
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE

Michigan Wolverines

Big Ten Games Missed: Minnesota, Northwestern
Change: Sept. 5 – Minnesota (cancel Western Michigan)
Nov. 28 – at Northwestern (cancel Delaware State on Oct. 17)

Ask Rich Rodriguez if he'd rather play Delaware State on October 17th and be done with the year on November 21st, or if he'd rather have to go to Northwestern after the Ohio State game and get an off-week after playing at Michigan State and Iowa and before dealing with Penn State. Once the season starts, he'd be ecstatic to get the week off in the middle of the year before the big showdown.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Western Michigan
Sept. 12 Notre Dame
Sept. 19 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 26 Indiana
Oct. 3 at Michigan State
Oct. 10 at Iowa
Oct. 17 Delaware State
Oct. 24 Penn State
Oct. 31 at Illinois
Nov. 7 Purdue
Nov. 14 at Wisconsin
Nov. 21 Ohio State
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Minnesota
Sept. 12 Notre Dame
Sept. 19 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 26 Indiana
Oct. 3 at Michigan State
Oct. 10 at Iowa
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Penn State
Oct. 31 at Illinois
Nov. 7 Purdue
Nov. 14 at Wisconsin
Nov. 21 Ohio State
Nov. 28 at Northwestern

Michigan State Spartans

Big Ten Games Missed: Indiana, Ohio State
Change: Sept. 5 – at Indiana (cancel Montana State)
Nov. 28 – Ohio State (cancel Western Michigan on Nov. 7)

Imagine a Michigan State - Ohio State showdown to close out the regular season. The Spartans would get an off-week at the start of November, and while starting the year on the road wouldn't be a plus, at least it would be against Indiana.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Montana State
Sept. 12 Central Michigan
Sept. 19 at Notre Dame
Sept. 26 at Wisconsin
Oct. 3 Michigan
Oct. 10 at Illinois
Oct. 17 Northwestern
Oct. 24 Iowa
Oct. 31 at Minnesota
Nov. 7 Western Michigan
Nov. 14 at Purdue
Nov. 21 Penn State
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 at Indiana
Sept. 12 Central Michigan
Sept. 19 at Notre Dame
Sept. 26 at Wisconsin
Oct. 3 Michigan
Oct. 10 at Illinois
Oct. 17 Northwestern
Oct. 24 Iowa
Oct. 31 at Minnesota
Nov. 7 OPEN DATE
Nov. 14 at Purdue
Nov. 21 Penn State
Nov. 28 Ohio State

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Big Ten Games Missed: Indiana, Michigan
Change: Sept. 5 – at Michigan (cancel at Syracuse)
Nov. 28 – Indiana (cancel South Dakota State on Nov. 14)

Minnesota would probably love this. There wouldn't be any loss of home dates, Indiana would have to play outside in the new stadium in the November 28th Minneapolis weather, and there would be a nice off week just before the Iowa game. Starting off the season playing Michigan for the Little Brown Jug would get things kicked off with a fight.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 at Syracuse
Sept. 12 Air Force
Sept. 19 California
Sept. 26 at Northwestern
Oct. 3 Wisconsin
Oct. 10 Purdue
Oct. 17 at Penn State
Oct. 24 at Ohio State
Oct. 31 Michigan State
Nov. 7 Illinois
Nov. 14 South Dakota State
Nov. 21 at Iowa
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 at Michigan
Sept. 12 Air Force
Sept. 19 California
Sept. 26 at Northwestern
Oct. 3 Wisconsin
Oct. 10 Purdue
Oct. 17 at Penn State
Oct. 24 at Ohio State
Oct. 31 Michigan State
Nov. 7 Illinois
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Iowa
Nov. 28
Indiana

Northwestern Wildcats

Big Ten Games Missed: Michigan, Ohio State
Change: Sept. 5 – at Ohio State (cancel Towson)
Nov. 28 – Michigan (cancel Eastern Michigan on Sept. 12)

Pat Fitzgerald would LOVE to play at Ohio State instead of Towson to start the season. While the open date would be far more beneficial on October 10th, the program wouldn't cancel the game against Randy Walker's old program, Miami. Any grousing about the loss of the Towson home game (in a half full stadium) would be remedied by a full house for Michigan.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Towson
Sept. 12 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 19 at Syracuse
Sept. 26 Minnesota
Oct. 3 at Purdue
Oct. 10 Miami University
Oct. 17 at Michigan State
Oct. 24 Indiana
Oct. 31 Penn State
Nov. 7 at Iowa
Nov. 14 at Illinois
Nov. 21 Wisconsin
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 at Ohio State
Sept. 12 OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 at Syracuse
Sept. 26 Minnesota
Oct. 3 at Purdue
Oct. 10 Miami University
Oct. 17 at Michigan State
Oct. 24 Indiana
Oct. 31 Penn State
Nov. 7 at Iowa
Nov. 14 at Illinois
Nov. 21 Wisconsin
Nov. 28 Michigan

Ohio State Buckeyes

Big Ten Games Missed: Northwestern, Michigan State
Change: Sept. 5 – Northwestern (cancel Navy)
Nov. 28 – at Michigan State (cancel New Mexico State on Oct. 31)

Fine, so there's no way that Ohio State would end the regular season with anyone but Michigan, but some jockeying could be done to make it a November 28th game. On the plus side, OSU would get an oasis of an off week on October 31st before a brutal November.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Navy
Sept. 12 USC
Sept. 19 Toledo (in Cleveland)
Sept. 26 Illinois
Oct. 3 at Indiana
Oct. 10 Wisconsin
Oct. 17 at Purdue
Oct. 24 Minnesota
Oct. 31 New Mexico State
Nov. 7 at Penn State
Nov. 14 Iowa
Nov. 21 at Michigan
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Northwestern
Sept. 12 USC
Sept. 19 Toledo (in Cleveland)
Sept. 26 Illinois
Oct. 3 at Indiana
Oct. 10 Wisconsin
Oct. 17 at Purdue
Oct. 24 Minnesota
Oct. 31 OPEN DATE
Nov. 7 at Penn State
Nov. 14 Iowa
Nov. 21 at Michigan
Nov. 28 at Michigan State

Penn State Nittany Lions

Big Ten Games Missed: Purdue, Wisconsin
Change: Sept. 19 – Wisconsin (cancel Temple)
Nov. 28 – at Purdue (cancel Eastern Illinois on Oct. 10)

The Temple game is always an easy layup, but a Big Ten home opener would be far more interesting. Instead of dealing with going through the motions against Eastern Illinois, there would be an off-week on October 10th before a tough finishing kick. There would be some complaining over losing a home game, but it serves them right for the embarrassing non-conference slate originally scheduled.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Akron
Sept. 12 Syracuse
Sept. 19 Temple
Sept. 26 Iowa
Oct. 3 at Illinois
Oct. 10 Eastern Illinois
Oct. 17 Minnesota
Oct. 24 at Michigan
Oct. 31 at Northwestern
Nov. 7 Ohio State
Nov. 14 Indiana
Nov. 21 at Michigan State
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Akron
Sept. 12 Syracuse
Sept. 19 Wisconsin
Sept. 26 Iowa
Oct. 3 at Illinois
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 Minnesota
Oct. 24 at Michigan
Oct. 31 at Northwestern
Nov. 7 Ohio State
Nov. 14 Indiana
Nov. 21 at Michigan State
Nov. 28
at Purdue

Purdue Boilermakers

Big Ten Games Missed: Iowa, Penn State
Change: Sept. 5 – at Iowa (cancel Toledo)
Nov. 28 – Penn State (cancel Northern Illinois on Sept. 19)

Purdue got the biggest break in the league with the missed Big Ten games, but there would be a nice off week after going to Iowa and Oregon to start the year. The game against the Ducks would need to be kept for conference pride, but that might be ditched to allow Purdue to get another home game.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Toledo
Sept. 12 at Oregon
Sept. 19 Northern Illinois
Sept. 26 Notre Dame
Oct. 3 Northwestern
Oct. 10 at Minnesota
Oct. 17 Ohio State
Oct. 24 Illinois
Oct. 31 at Wisconsin
Nov. 7 at Michigan
Nov. 14 Michigan State
Nov. 21 at Indiana
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 at Iowa
Sept. 12 at Oregon
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Notre Dame
Oct. 3 Northwestern
Oct. 10 at Minnesota
Oct. 17 Ohio State
Oct. 24 Illinois
Oct. 31 at Wisconsin
Nov. 7 at Michigan
Nov. 14 Michigan State
Nov. 21 at Indiana
Nov. 28 Penn State

Wisconsin Badgers

Big Ten Games Missed: Illinois, Penn State
Change: Sept. 19 – at Penn State (cancel Wofford)
Nov. 28 – Illinois (cancel at Hawaii on Dec. 5)

Wisconsin would be the one team that might scream. It loses Wofford for a trip to Penn State?! It doesn't get to go to Hawaii? Unlike almost everyone else, there's no bye-week gained. However, the athletic department wouldn't lose a home game, there's still an off-week on October 24th, and Illinois would have to come to Camp Randall to close out the regular season.
The 2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Northern Illinois
Sept. 12 Fresno State
Sept. 19 Wofford
Sept. 26 Michigan State
Oct. 3 at Minnesota
Oct. 10 at Ohio State
Oct. 17 Iowa
Oct. 24 OPEN DATE
Oct. 31 Purdue
Nov. 7 at Indiana
Nov. 14 Michigan
Nov. 21 at Northwestern
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
Dec. 5 at Hawaii
How It Could Be
Sept. 5 Northern Illinois
Sept. 12 Fresno State
Sept. 19 at Penn State
Sept. 26 Michigan State
Oct. 3 at Minnesota
Oct. 10 at Ohio State
Oct. 17 Iowa
Oct. 24 OPEN DATE
Oct. 31 Purdue
Nov. 7 at Indiana
Nov. 14 Michigan
Nov. 21 at Northwestern
Nov. 28 Illinois
Dec. 5 OPEN DATE