The news that Illinois is in talks to revive its football rivalry against Missouri got me thinking about non-league scheduling, matchups and you, the Big Ten fan.
Athletic directors around the conference now have the green light to craft future non-league schedules as the Big Ten will go to nine league games beginning in 2016. The league has encouraged ADs to upgrade their non-conference schedules -- a message received loud and clear at the recent spring meetings -- and the result should be beneficial for Big Ten fans.
That leads to the following question: Which non-league opponent do you most want your team to play? Brian Bennett and I want to hear your thoughts.
If you're a Michigan fan and you want USC or Florida or Texas, let us know. Or maybe you'd rather see the Notre Dame series continue past 2014. Speaking of the Fighting Irish, are they the top non-league choice for fans of Michigan State and Purdue? Let us know either way. Illini fans, do you want to see Missouri again or another team? Indiana fans, do you want to play Kentucky again?
Penn State fans might want another crack at Alabama or another SEC power. Michigan State hosted Boise State last year; do any other Big Ten teams want to take on the Broncos?
Your answer could be an opponent already on the future schedule. Most Nebraska fans are fired up about the return of longtime rival Oklahoma to the Huskers' schedule in 2021 and 2022. Ohio State fans might choose Oregon or Texas, two teams the Buckeyes are scheduled to play in the distant future. If you're a Wisconsin fan and you most wanted to face Alabama and LSU, Barry Alvarez has delivered on the first and soon will on the second.
Then again, maybe you'd rather see your old pal Bret Bielema and the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Here's your chance to tell us -- and maybe some of the ADs who read the blog (believe or not, some do) -- who you want to see on the future schedule. Contact us here and here and be sure to state your Big Ten fan affiliation, which non-league team you'd like to see added to the schedule and why.
We'll print some of the best responses, hopefully in team-by-team form, in the coming days.