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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Big Ten releases 2018, 2019 schedules

By Adam Rittenberg

Ready for some schedule news? Who am I kidding? Everyone loves schedule news. Well, here's some.

The 2018 and 2019 Big Ten schedules are out after being approved by the league's athletic directors last week. For those keeping score, this is Season 3 and Season 4 of the nine-game league schedule, which begins in 2016. Remember, the East division will play five home games and four road games in 2018, and the West division will play five home and four road in 2019.

First, the vitals:

DIVISION CROSSOVERS (three per team)

2018

East division

Indiana: Iowa, at Minnesota, Purdue (protected)
Maryland: Minnesota, at Iowa, Illinois
Michigan: Nebraska, at Northwestern, Wisconsin
Michigan State: Northwestern, Purdue, at Nebraska
Ohio State: Minnesota, at Purdue, Nebraska
Penn State: at Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin
Rutgers: Illinois, Northwestern, at Wisconsin

West division

Illinois: Penn State, at Rutgers, at Maryland
Iowa: at Indiana, Maryland, at Penn State
Minnesota: at Maryland, at Ohio State, Indiana
Nebraska: at Michigan, at Ohio State, Michigan State
Northwestern: Michigan, at Michigan State, at Rutgers
Purdue: Ohio State, at Michigan State, at Indiana (protected)
Wisconsin: at Michigan, Rutgers, at Penn State


2019

East division

Indiana: at Nebraska, Northwestern, at Purdue (protected)
Maryland: at Purdue, at Minnesota, Nebraska
Michigan: at Wisconsin, Iowa, at Illinois
Michigan State: at Northwestern, at Wisconsin, Illinois
Ohio State: at Nebraska, at Northwestern, Wisconsin
Penn State: Purdue, at Iowa, at Minnesota
Rutgers: at Iowa, Minnesota, at Illinois

West division

Illinois: Michigan, Rutgers, at Michigan State
Iowa: Rutgers, at Michigan, Penn State
Minnesota: at Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State
Nebraska: Ohio State, Indiana, at Maryland
Northwestern: Michigan State, Ohio State, at Indiana
Purdue: at Penn State, Maryland, Indiana (protected)
Wisconsin: Michigan, Michigan State, at Ohio State

The wait for Michigan-Nebraska finally ends in 2018, as the Wolverines host the Huskers in the Big Ten opener for both squads. It will mark the teams' first meeting since Nov. 9, 2013. Although the teams once again don't play in 2019, expect them to meet again in 2020. It is odd that Nebraska and Ohio State play crossover games every year between 2016-19, but Nebraska and Michigan meet just once.

Parity-based scheduling provides more appealing matchups across the board in these seasons. To recap: Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State all face Nebraska in 2018; Nebraska and Ohio State also meet in 2019; Wisconsin plays Michigan in both 2018 and 2019, as well as Penn State in 2018 and both Michigan State and Ohio State in 2019; and Northwestern-Michigan State and Iowa-Penn State are two sneaky-good matchups that occur in both seasons. Ohio State's 2019 slate is no picnic, as the Buckeyes play crossovers against arguably the three best West division opponents (Wisconsin, Michigan State and Northwestern).

"The goal is to have top-level, A-plus type of games every week of the season and really build toward a championship crescendo," said Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner, who crafts the league schedules with his staff. "It’s hard to project in 2013 what teams are going to look like six or seven years down the road, but there are some pretty good games here."

Indeed there are. But before going any further, let's look at the regular-season Big Ten matchups you won't be seeing in 2018 or 2019 &#133

NO PLAYS (four per team)

2018

East division

Indiana: Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Maryland: Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
Michigan: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue
Michigan State: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Ohio State: Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Penn State: Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue
Rutgers: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue

West division

Illinois: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Iowa: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers
Minnesota: Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers
Nebraska: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers
Northwestern: Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State
Purdue: Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers
Wisconsin: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State

2019

East division

Indiana: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Maryland: Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Michigan: Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue
Michigan State: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue
Ohio State: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue
Penn State: Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Rutgers: Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

West division

Illinois: Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State
Iowa: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State
Minnesota: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Nebraska: Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers
Northwestern: Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan, Penn State
Purdue: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers
Wisconsin: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers

Some more notes from talking with Rudner and thoughts on the 2018 and 2019 schedules:
Thoughts on the schedules? Send them here and here.