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2010 Big Ten Team-By-Team Schedule Breakdown
Iowa S Tyler Sash
Iowa S Tyler Sash
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 14, 2010


Iowa, led by Tyler Sash, should be among the best in the Big Ten this year, but will the schedule be decent enough to bring another BCS bowl game? Check out the breakdowns and analysis of each Big Ten team's 2010 schedule.


2010 Big Ten Schedule

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

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

- 2010 Big Ten Composite Schedule & Week Rankings

Toughest Schedules
Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when.

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Minnesota
4. Penn State
5. Northwestern
6. Michigan State
7. Iowa
8. Wisconsin
9. Indiana
10. Illinois
11. Purdue
Illinois

Big Ten Teams Missed: Iowa, Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 7-5

Summary: Ron Zook's program isn't expected to make a huge comeback a year after supposedly being loaded with veteran talent, at least on offense, but the schedule works out well enough to demand a winning season with no excuses. Missing Iowa and Wisconsin from Big Ten play is enough of a break, and there's no reason to not be 3-1 in non-conference play against Missouri, Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Fresno State. Playing Ohio State and at Penn State to start off the Big Ten season isn't fair, but at least the Illini get them both out of the way immediately.

Sept. 4 Missouri (in St. Louis)
Sept. 11 Southern Illinois
Sept. 18 Northern Illinois
Sept. 25 OPEN DATE
Oct. 2 Ohio State
Oct. 9 at Penn State
Oct. 16 at Michigan St
Oct. 23 Indiana
Oct. 30 Purdue
Nov. 6 at Michigan
Nov. 13 Minnesota
Nov. 20 at Northwestern
Nov. 27 OPEN DATE
Dec. 4 at Fresno State

Indiana

Big Ten Teams Missed:
Michigan State, Minnesota
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6

Summary: There isn't a non-conference game the Hoosiers won't be favored in. Towson, at Western Kentucky, Akron and Arkansas state isn't exactly what most would call a murderer's row of teams to deal with. Missing Michigan State and Minnesota in conference action isn't a positive, and having to go to Ohio State and Wisconsin stings even more with the Penn State game being played in Landover, Maryland. The bye week comes too early, September 11th, but if the Hoosiers can upset Michigan, they'll almost certainly be 4-0 going into Michigan Week.

Sept. 4 Towson
Sept. 11 OPEN DATE
Sept. 18 at Western Kentucky
Sept. 25 Akron
Oct. 2 Michigan
Oct. 9 at Ohio State
Oct. 16 Arkansas State
Oct. 23 at Illinois
Oct. 30 Northwestern
Nov. 6 Iowa
Nov. 13 at Wisconsin
Nov. 20 Penn State (in Landover)
Nov. 27 at Purdue

Iowa

Big Ten Teams Missed: Michigan, Purdue
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: Considering the Hawkeyes miss two Big Ten teams that didn't go to bowl games last year, Michigan and Purdue, the schedule isn't all that bad. Last year Iowa had to go to Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, and now it's payoff time with the Nittany Lions, Buckeyes, and Badgers all having to come to Iowa City. Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota is about as light a conference road schedule as anyone could ask for. Going to Arizona won't be easy, and the Iowa State game is always tough, but the non-conference slate isn't anything to get in a twist over if the team is as good as many think it'll be.

Sept. 4 Eastern Illinois
Sept. 11 Iowa State
Sept. 18 at Arizona
Sept. 25 Ball State
Oct. 2 Penn State
Oct. 9 OPEN DATE
Oct. 16 at Michigan
Oct. 23 Wisconsin
Oct. 30 Michigan State
Nov. 6 at Indiana
Nov. 13 at Northwestern
Nov. 20 Ohio State
Nov. 27 at Minnesota

Michigan

Big Ten Teams Missed: Minnesota, Northwestern
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 7-5

Summary: A dominant Michigan team would blow through this schedule without much of a problem. This isn't going to be a dominant Michigan team and it could struggle mightily with a good Connecticut squad in the opener before dealing with a trip to Notre Dame. UMass, Bowling Green, and at Indiana should assure a decent start if the Wolverines don't blow it against both the Huskies and the Irish. Going on the road to face Penn State and Ohio State should be enough to kill any Big Ten title dreams before they start, but Wisconsin and Iowa have to come to Ann Arbor.

Sept. 4 Connecticut
Sept. 11 at Notre Dame
Sept. 18 UMass
Sept. 25 Bowling Green
Oct. 2 at Indiana
Oct. 9 Michigan State
Oct. 16 Iowa
Oct. 23 OPEN DATE
Oct. 30 at Penn State
Nov. 6 Illinois
Nov. 13 at Purdue
Nov. 20 Wisconsin
Nov. 27 at Ohio State

Michigan State

Big Ten Teams Missed: Indiana, Ohio State
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4

Summary: The front half of the slate isn't all that bad getting Wisconsin and Notre Dame at home with a trip to Michigan the only road date in the first seven games. Missing Ohio State is the biggest break in the Big Ten schedule, but it's offset by also missing Indiana. It doesn't help that the Iowa and Penn State games are on the road, but if the Spartans can be consistent and can avoid the braincramps that choked the team last season, the record should be tremendous with very, very winnable home games against Illinois, Minnesota, and Purdue to go along with five home games (counting the battle with Florida Atlantic in Detroit) to start the year.

Sept. 4 Western Michigan
Sept. 11 Florida Atlantic (in Detroit)
Sept. 18 Notre Dame
Sept. 25 Northern Colorado
Oct. 2 Wisconsin
Oct. 9 at Michigan
Oct. 16 Illinois
Oct. 23 at Northwestern
Oct. 30 at Iowa
Nov. 6 Minnesota
Nov. 13 OPEN DATE
Nov. 20 Purdue
Nov. 27 at Penn State

Minnesota

Big Ten Teams Missed: Indiana, Michigan
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6

Summary: On the surface, the first part of the season would be a big plus with four straight home games following the opener at Middle Tennessee. However, getting USC in TCF Bank Stadium is a problem and things get really, really tough as the season goes on. Missing Michigan and Indiana is a nice break, but the schedule sets things up for yet another second half Gopher slide. There's a stretch of four road games in six, and the two home dates are against Penn State and Ohio State. Going on the road to face Wisconsin and Michigan State aren't going to be easy, and while the Iowa game is at home, the Hawkeye fans always pack the Minnesota house.

Sept. 2 at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 11 South Dakota
Sept. 18 USC
Sept. 25 Northern Illinois
Oct. 2 Northwestern
Oct. 9 at Wisconsin
Oct. 16 at Purdue
Oct. 23 Penn State
Oct. 30 Ohio State
Nov. 6 at Michigan State
Nov. 13 at Illinois
Nov. 20 OPEN DATE
Nov. 27 Iowa

Northwestern

Big Ten Teams Missed: Michigan, Ohio State
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 8-4

Summary: If the Wildcats are any good they should be in for a huge season. There are only three dates against 2009 bowl teams in the first seven games, and those are against Central Michigan, Minnesota, and Michigan State; that's not that bad. Missing Ohio State is the biggest break the team could ask for, while missing Michigan looks nice in name, if not in reality. The finishing kick has a few issues going to Penn State and Wisconsin and getting Iowa and Illinois in Evanston, but the Cats should have a nice enough cushion over the first half of the season to suffer a few losses late. If NU can go 2-2 in the last four games, it might go to its second straight New Year's Day bowl.

Sept. 4 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 11 Illinois State
Sept. 18 at Rice
Sept. 25 Central Michigan
Oct. 2 at Minnesota
Oct. 9 Purdue
Oct. 16 OPEN DATE
Oct. 23 Michigan State
Oct. 30 at Indiana
Nov. 6 at Penn State
Nov. 13 Iowa
Nov. 20 Illinois
Nov. 27 at Wisconsin

Ohio State

Big Ten Teams Missed: Michigan State, Northwestern
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 11-1

Summary: It all sets up well for an unbeaten run, but there are just enough landmines to ruin a perfect season. Playing a loaded and athletic Miami team in Columbus will be a terrific early test, but the rest of the non-conference schedule is a breeze with two MAC teams (Ohio and Eastern Michigan) and Marshall. Missing Michigan State and Northwestern in Big Ten play might not seem like a big deal, but the two went to bowl games last year and each should finish in the conference's top five. There aren't two road games in a row, but while the trip to Wisconsin comes after a relative breather against Indiana, the showdown at Iowa comes a week after facing Penn State. Getting a November 6 week off is going to come in very, very handy down the stretch.

Sept. 2 Marshall
Sept. 11 Miami
Sept. 18 Ohio
Sept. 25 Eastern Michigan
Oct. 2 at Illinois
Oct. 9 Indiana
Oct. 16 at Wisconsin
Oct. 23 Purdue
Oct. 30 at Minnesota
Nov. 6 OPEN DATE
Nov. 13 Penn State
Nov. 20 at Iowa
Nov. 27 Michigan

Penn State

Big Ten Teams Missed: Purdue, Wisconsin
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: Last year was essentially a two-game schedule facing Iowa and Ohio State in key home games, and Penn State lost them both. It's a bit of a stretch to call this a three-game slate, but it's close. The Nittany Lions should be able to put on their helmets and walk through wins over Youngstown State, Kent State, Temple, Illinois, at Minnesota, and against Indiana (to be played in Landover, Maryland), and they'll have to focus on difficult games against Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State. However, those three games are at home and Penn State will be favored in all of them. At Alabama, at Iowa, and at Ohio State. That's the schedule. There's no Wisconsin to deal with (Purdue is also missing) and the big games are spread out nicely, but those big three road tests against teams that won their BCS games are brutal. On the plus side, a win over the Crimson Tide would set the tone for the rest of the season and launch JoePa's club onto the national title short list.

Sept. 4 Youngstown State
Sept. 11 at Alabama
Sept. 18 Kent State
Sept. 25 Temple
Oct. 2 at Iowa
Oct. 9 Illinois
Oct. 16 OPEN DATE
Oct. 23 at Minnesota
Oct. 30 Michigan
Nov. 6 Northwestern
Nov. 13 at Ohio State
Nov. 20 Indiana (in Landover)
Nov. 27 Michigan State

Purdue

Big Ten Teams Missed: Iowa, Penn State
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5

Summary: Purdue might not be one of the five best teams in the Big Ten, but it can finish up high in the standings with a not-that-bad schedule that doesn't see Iowa or Penn State. The four Big Ten road games aren't breathers against Northwestern, Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan State, but if the Boilermakers can win two of those it'll be a tremendous season. Even if they don't, with three breezy home non-conference games (although the Toledo game should be a shootout) after the season-opener at Notre Dame, and with home games against Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana, there's no excuse to not be in a bowl game.

Sept. 4 at Notre Dame
Sept. 11 Western Illinois
Sept. 18 Ball State
Sept. 25 Toledo
Oct. 2 OPEN DATE
Oct. 9 at Northwestern
Oct. 16 Minnesota
Oct. 23 at Ohio State
Oct. 30 at Illinois
Nov. 6 Wisconsin
Nov. 13 Michigan
Nov. 20 at Michigan State
Nov. 27 Indiana

Wisconsin

Big Ten Teams Missed: Illinois, Penn State
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 10-2

Summary: The preseason hype should be through the roof for a team loaded with veterans, and with the schedule to help the cause, go ahead and think big if you're a Badger fan. The one huge, gaping problem could be at Iowa in a tough showdown that comes off what's sure to be an emotional game against Ohio State. If the Badgers are 6-0 going into the date against the Buckeyes, that will be one of the biggest national games of the 2010 season. But to get to that point, there's a game at Michigan State to deal with; the Spartans always give UW trouble in East Lansing. The rest of the home slate, outside of the Ohio State game, is relatively breezy with Minnesota and Northwestern the only two games against teams that went to bowls.

Sept. 4 at UNLV
Sept. 11 San Jose State
Sept. 18 Arizona State
Sept. 25 Austin Peay
Oct. 2 at Michigan State
Oct. 9 Minnesota
Oct. 16 Ohio State
Oct. 23 at Iowa
Oct. 30 OPEN DATE
Nov. 6 at Purdue
Nov. 13 Indiana
Nov. 20 at Michigan
Nov. 27 Northwestern