Big Ten to have 14 games in primetime

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
8:05
PM ET
The 2011 Big Ten primetime football schedule is complete as the Big Ten Network announced Thursday it will air seven games this season.

Here's a look at BTN's primetime games:

Sept. 2
Youngstown State at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sept. 10
Virginia at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET

Sept. 17
Arizona State at Illinois, 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)

Sept. 24
North Dakota State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)

Oct. 8
Michigan at Northwestern, 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)

Oct. 15
Northwestern at Iowa, 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)

Oct. 22
Penn State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)

Thursday's announcement comes a week after the Big Ten unveiled seven primetime game to be aired on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Northwestern is a big winner in the Big Ten Network's lineup as it will have three consecutive night games in October, two at home. The two home night games should be valuable as Northwestern tries to boost attendance and season-ticket sales. On the flip side, Northwestern typically struggles in showcase games under the lights and fares much better in early kickoffs.

Kinnick Stadium is electric at night, and I'm glad there will be one primetime game in Iowa City. Iowa fans will be out in force as the Hawkeyes take on their recent nemesis, Northwestern. The game should get increased exposure as it will be the Big Ten's only primetime affair on Oct. 15.

I also like the Virginia-Indiana and Arizona State-Illinois matchups in primetime. This gives added exposure to Big Ten games against teams from other BCS automatic-qualifying conferences.

Overall, this is a pretty solid primetime schedule. Night games are huge in college football right now, and the Big Ten will have at least one primetime affair on every weekend in both September and October. Every team will have at least one kickoff under the lights. My big disappointment is no night game at Penn State this year. Hopefully, that will change in 2012.

Here's a look at the complete primetime slate:

Sept. 1
UNLV at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Sept. 2
Youngstown State at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Sept. 10
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Virginia at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Sept. 17
Arizona State at Illinois, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Sept. 24
North Dakota State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Oct. 1
Nebraska at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Notre Dame at Purdue, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

Oct. 8
Ohio State at Nebraska, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Michigan at Northwestern, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Oct. 15
Northwestern at Iowa, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Oct. 22
Wisconsin at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Penn State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Oct. 29
Wisconsin at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

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