Big Ten prime-time TV schedule released
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten has released its 2009 TV schedule for prime-time football games, which features 14 contests during the first eight weeks of the season. As stated last week, the Big Ten has a policy preventing conference games from being played at night in November unless they take place indoors.
Here's the full rundown with TV for the games:
Sept. 3 (Thursday)Eastern Kentucky at Indiana, 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Missouri vs. Illinois, 3:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Northern Illinois at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Illinois State at Illinois, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Air Force at Minnesota, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
USC at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Iowa at Penn State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Notre Dame at Purdue, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Ohio State at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Michigan at Iowa, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Illinois at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Iowa at Michigan State, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Michigan State at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Penn State at Northwestern, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN2
My quick thoughts on the schedule:
- Penn State fans undoubtedly will be disappointed with only one night game, as Beaver Stadium under the lights is one of the top home-field advantages in college football. The Lions will have several other games finish under darkness, including a road game at Northwestern and, most probably, a Nov. 7 home game against Ohio State.
- Indiana has to be pleased with three prime-time TV games, including two at home, coming off a 3-9 season.
- Iowa and Indiana have the most night-time appearances with three. Illinois plays two true night games and opens with an afternoon contest against Missouri on Sept. 5. Kinnick Stadium will be LOUD on Oct. 10.
- Minnesota gets the benefit of two prime-time games at the new TCF Bank Stadium, but the opener against Air Force falls at the same time as Ohio State-USC. That's a bit of a tough break for the Gophers.
- My favorite night games on this list are USC-Ohio State (duh), Iowa-Penn State, Michigan-Iowa, Iowa-Michigan State (brrr) and Michigan State-Minnesota (really brrr).