Big Ten: Craig Angelos

The 2010 Big Ten schedule might leave you scratching your head at times.

Indiana will play a home game against Penn State in Landover, Md., which is a lot closer to State College than Bloomington.

And Michigan State will play a road game against Florida Atlantic ... in Detroit.

The Spartans-Owls game had been in the works for some time but was finalized Thursday. Michigan State opens the season against Western Michigan at home before making the 90-mile trip to Ford Field, where it will wear its road jerseys against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 11.

Florida Atlantic originally was scheduled to open its new on-campus stadium against Michigan State, but financial reasons forced the venue change.

"Because of the difficult financial climate, our completion date has been pushed back a year," FAU athletics director Craig Angelos said in a statement. "Therefore, we considered how we could still use this game toward promoting and supporting our efforts to make the stadium a reality. We thought this neutral site would be an ideal way of benefiting the stadium effort."

FAU will use proceeds from the game to fund its new stadium. Michigan State hosted the Owls in 2008 and won 17-0.

"While we were looking forward to playing the opening game in FAU's new on-campus stadium, we are delighted to be able to play a 'road game' in Detroit," Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis said in a statement. "This game is certain to have a positive financial impact on the state. It's also important to note from a financial standpoint that Michigan State will play nine of its 12 regular-season games next year in the state of Michigan, with seven games in East Lansing, one in Ann Arbor and the FAU game in Detroit."

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


Michigan State's scheduled trip to Florida Atlantic next season likely will take place much closer to home.

Florida Atlantic wants to move the game against Michigan State to Detroit's Ford Field or Chicago's Soldier Field because the opening date for its new stadium has been pushed back to 2011. The Owls would still serve as the home team, and they'd pocket most of the proceeds from the game, which could exceed $2 million.

But Michigan State fans would fill the stands in either location, especially in nearby Detroit.
"I am sorry that the stadium won't be ready, because we wanted to be a part of that historical first game," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "We have a lot of alumni in Chicago and Detroit and there is a lot of attraction to both those locations."
Michigan State has told Florida Atlantic athletic director Craig Angelos that a game in Chicago or Detroit would draw 45,000-55,000 fans. Florida Atlantic will still travel to East Lansing to face the Spartans in 2011.

Should the venue change be made, Michigan State would have three home games (Western Michigan, Notre Dame and Northern Colorado) and a neutral-site contest in 2010.

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