For any Maryland or Rutgers fans eager to get to their new home, or people planning a wedding well in advance, the Big Ten made your life much easier Thursday by releasing its 2014 football schedule.
The league has already announced plans to switch to an East/West divisional alignment in preparation for its pair of newcomers. Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana will occupy the East Division, while Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska will make up the West Division.
Considering we’re still more than three months away from the 2013 season, it’s far too early to make any solid judgments about any team’s perceived schedule strength or lack thereof. But, with that said, goodness gracious Rutgers is going to have to hit the ground running in its new home. The Scarlet Knights kick off the 2014 Big Ten season by hosting Penn State on Sept. 13, then follow with Michigan, road trips to Ohio State and Nebraska and then a home date with Wisconsin. Kyle Flood’s agent may be wise to begin working up the language on a contract extension now.
Speaking of Wisconsin, we can go ahead and name the Badgers the far-too-early West Division favorites with a schedule that somehow avoids Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s Little Brown Jug rivals Minnesota manages to get both Michigan and Ohio State as its inter-division draw.
The other Big Ten new arrival, Maryland, will play its first Big Ten game at Indiana on Sept. 27. The Terps’ first conference home game comes against Ohio State the following week. Maryland and Rutgers will close the season against each other on Nov. 29 in Piscataway, N.J.
To read the full release (or perhaps bookmark it to read when the 2013 season ends), please click here.