Big Ten Conference Announces 2014 Football Schedule

Big Ten Conference Announces 2014 Football Schedule

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The soon-to-be 14-member Big Ten Conference is looking ahead to its expanded format, having just announced the 2014 football schedule among its conference member teams. Rutgers and Maryland are the newest members to one of the top academic and athletic conferences in the country, requiring some changes in scheduling beginning next year.

New Divisional Names

The schedule release follows changes to the conference layout announced earlier this month that eliminated the Legends and Leaders divisional designation, replacing these with the Big Ten East and the Big Ten West. The divisional names were put in place with Nebraska’s move to the conference in 2010, but have been widely panned by critics.

The East division consists of Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The West division includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. Big Ten teams will play divisional foes annually with three crossover games as well. The nine-game schedule, however, does not kick in until two years later, therefore two crossover games a piece will be played in 2014 and again in 2015.

Rutgers Hosts First Game

Rutgers and Penn State will play the first conference game of the season on Sept. 13 with the Scarlet Knights hosting the Nittany Lions in New Jersey. The remaining teams begin conference play on Sept. 27 with the last games scheduled for Nov. 29. The divisional winners will meet on Dec. 6 in the Big Ten Championship Game with a chance to quality for a spot in the new national playoff system.

The Big Ten Conference also reminded its followers that the 2013 football season is looming. The 2013 Football Media Days and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon is scheduled for July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, and will feature all 12 of the current football coaches. The Big Ten season, its 118th, kicks off on Aug. 29 and culminates with the championship game on Dec. 7 in Indianapolis.

Stronger Non-Conference Schedule

With the Big Ten Conference announcing its 2014 league schedule, member schools will seek to fill the remaining four non-conference dates to reach a 12-game schedule. And the Big Ten Conference is urging its members to play tougher schedules with FCS schools and even smaller FBS programs getting the boot. We’ll see more action between Big Ten and SEC, ACC and Big 12 teams moving forward, in a big that analysts hope will remove the word boring from the Sept. football schedule format.

Other conferences are expected to provide 2014 schedules in the coming weeks. Games against nonconference foes are being planned too, including marquee match ups such as Tennessee at Oklahoma.

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