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    B1G Releases Nine-Game Conference Schedules for 2016, 2017

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Pat Fitzgerald now knows the Big Ten matchups his team will face for the next five seasons, through 2017.
    Pat Fitzgerald now knows the Big Ten matchups his team will face for the next five seasons, through 2017.

    July 11, 2013

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday the schedules for the first two seasons of its new nine-game conference football season format, the 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

    Beginning in 2014, the league will welcome conference newcomers Rutgers and Maryland into the fold and move from its current divisional breakdown to a geographically based East-West divisional format. With the inception of the nine-game schedule in 2016, each team will face the other six schools in their respective divisions as well as three crossover opponents. It is the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons that Big Ten teams will play a nine-game conference schedule.

    In 2016, Northwestern will step out of its home in the West Division to face East Division foes Michigan State (Oct. 15) and Ohio State (Oct. 29) on the road and Indiana (Oct. 22) at home. NU's visit to the Horseshoe in Columbus will mark the Wildcats' first road test at Ohio State since the 2007 campaign.



    The 2016 conference slate also features marquee home dates with Nebraska, Wisconsin and rival Illinois.

    The following year, Northwestern kicks off the conference schedule on Oct. 1 at Iowa and hosts crossover foe Penn State the following week before heading to the east coast for its first-ever meeting on the gridiron with the University of Maryland (Oct. 14). In addition to the Nittany Lions and Terps, Michigan State again appears on the Wildcats' schedule to round out NU's out-of-division schedule.

    The Big Ten Championship game will be played Saturday, Dec. 3 in 2016 and Saturday, Dec. 2 in 2017.

    Earlier this spring, Northwestern and the Big Ten announced conference schedules for the final two years of the eight-game conference format, 2014 and 2015. See below for NU's Big Ten opponents and game dates for the four seasons from 2014-17:

    2014 Northwestern Football -- Big Ten Schedule
    Sept. 27 -- at Penn State
    Oct. 4 -- Wisconsin
    Oct. 11 -- at Minnesota
    Oct. 18 -- Nebraska
    Nov. 1 -- at Iowa
    Nov. 8 -- Michigan
    Nov. 22 -- at Purdue
    Nov. 29 -- Illinois

    2015 Northwestern Football -- Big Ten Schedule
    Oct. 3 -- Minnesota
    Oct. 10 -- at Michigan
    Oct. 17 -- Iowa
    Oct. 24 -- at Nebraska
    Nov. 7 -- Penn State
    Nov. 14 -- Purdue
    Nov. 21 -- at Wisconsin
    Nov. 28 -- at Illinois

    2016 Northwestern Football -- Big Ten Schedule
    Oct. 1 -- at Iowa
    Oct. 8 -- Nebraska
    Oct. 15 -- at Michigan State
    Oct. 22 -- Indiana
    Oct. 29 -- at Ohio State
    Nov. 5 -- Wisconsin
    Nov. 12 -- at Purdue
    Nov. 19 -- at Minnesota
    Nov. 26 -- Illinois

    2017 Northwestern Football -- Big Ten Schedule
    Sept. 30 -- at Wisconsin
    Oct. 7 -- Penn State
    Oct. 14 -- at Maryland
    Oct. 21 -- Iowa
    Oct. 28 -- Michigan State
    Nov. 4 -- at Nebraska
    Nov. 11 -- Purdue
    Nov. 18 -- Minnesota
    Nov. 25 -- at Illinois

    Home games listed in boldface.


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