Nine Game Conference Schedule In 2017

Submitted by Brian on August 4th, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Press release:


Teams to feature four or five Big Ten home games on rotating basis

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten announced today that conference football programs will move to a nine-game Big Ten schedule beginning with the 2017 season.

Three teams each from the Legends Division and Leaders Division will feature five conference home games during odd-numbered years, while the other three schools from each division will host five conference contests during even-numbered years. The 2017 schedule will include five conference home outings for Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska from the Legends Division and Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State from the Leaders Division. The 2018 schedule will feature five Big Ten home games for Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern of the Legends Division and Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin of the Leaders Division.

The Big Ten will return to a full nine-game conference schedule for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Eight of 10 conference schools played nine-game schedules during the 1981 and 1982 seasons, while two of 10 teams featured nine-game schedules from 1971-72 and 1977-80.

Michigan gets the slightly shorter end of the stick but that's probably the way they wanted it since they get ND at home in odd-numbered years. An extra Big Ten home game in years when ND is away should help even out the home schedules.

Insert bitch here about how no amount of insane BTN/ESPN loot will ever allow Michigan to play a real opponent in a home and home.



August 4th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

If we drop the I-AA team and schedule intelligent I'm okay with.  I can tolerate a MAC school or two in the name of supporting the smaller football programs in the region.  ND under Kelly should at least be respectable. 

What I do want to see though is for us to schedule in up and coming teams from non BCS conferences.  Like how we got Utah to come in here.  They got a ton of revenue and national exposure so they agreed to do a one and done.  If I'm seeing one of those programs, ND, and 9 B1G games I'm fine.

If ND keeps stinking up the joint though, we need to drop them and go home and homes with SEC and PAC schools.

the Glove

August 4th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

I'm for whatever schedule gets a national championship. I don't recall any team that won the bcs championship publicly saying that they wish they would have played a tougher schedule. The reality is that they're going to play ND every year and there going to lose one game that was going to be against a MAC school. I don't feel that there really is any evidence that there was ever going to be a home and home with a major school. When there were talks of it what happened? We got Uconn. I think the only other chances of playing a major non conference team is a neutral site where they get paid like its a home game.


August 4th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

Amen. The BCS format kind of eliminated the need for tough schedules to make a statement. Yes, SOS does play a roll, but very little compared to poll rankings. Just go undefeated, and it will be very rare for a B1G school (especially UM) to get left out of the NC game. Michigan winning is my first priority, even over rocking games.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 4th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

I like the addition of adding a confgerence game, but the idea that we can't schedule anyone other big time schools in our nonconference schedule doesn't excite me. Mark me down in the camp of taking a two year break from ND every couple of years to play a home and home with an SEC team or Pac. 

I would love to see us play home and home with ND, then a two year break for a different team and back to the home and with ND and so on. If that were the case I would be fine with it since I get sick of playing ND every year anyway.


August 4th, 2011 at 1:08 PM ^

Agreed. With a 9-game schedule, our OOC is basically going to be:


from now on, and I'm okay with switching out the ND game every two years with a BCS quality opponent. What the NCAA really needs to do is expand the schedule to 13 games, which will easily allow for 7 home games and prevent the whole 6-6 bowl team issue.


August 4th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

Seriously, though, what the hell were DB/RR thinking re the 2012 schedule? Adding Bama to a schedule that already includes ND, Neb, OSU and the rest is insane, especially since the biggest games are all on the road. 

I know we play Bama in Dallas, but that locale is a lot closer to Tuscaloosa than AA, and that crowd will skew heavily Tide. The 2012 schedule is just too much.


August 4th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

Is going to be a seriously tall task.

I don't know. Maybe Brady will have us into a soul-crushing juggernaut by then, but with Iowa, MSU, and Nebraska enjoying one more home game than we will, the degree of difficulty is going to be high.

I don't know why the league just didn't give everyone in a division the extra home game. That would make more sense. By saying teams within a division will not play the same number of home games, you're taking an unbalanced schedule and making it even more unbalanced.


August 4th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

I don't like having an uneven number of home and road games.  But, this at least leads to more balanced schedules across the conference (and should eliminate the possibility of going four years without playing a fellow B10 school, so that is a good thing.

This will never happen, but I'd love to see us schedule Wisconsin as a nonconference opponents in 2013 or 2014.  I want to make sure our freshmen get to play every other Big Ten school at least once.

Hardware Sushi

August 4th, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

GUH. This sucks. This means six more guaranteed losses for the Big Ten. Anyone wonder why the Pac-10 has a bunch of middling 5, 6, and 7-win teams when the SEC is loaded with 7, 8 and 9-win teams?

Because Pac-10 teams plays 9 conference games AND play a good BCS team most years. SEC? Maybe you'll get an LSU-Oregon game in there, more likely you'll get Louisiana-Lafayette and Tennessee-Chattenooga.

What that translates to is perception. A bunch of idiot talking heads on TV talking about how South Carolina played 8 bowl-eligible teams and Stanford only played three (not including USC). Six teams in the SEC are virtually guaranteed to have one less loss than six of our Big Ten teams.

Yes - More Big Ten games means more television money in both contracts and advertising dollars. It means a better guaranteed opponent for one more game. Less lag time between Big Ten opponents. Easier scheduling for our ADs.

Need more television ad dollars? Schedule a good non-conference opponent!
Need more quality opponents? Email! Call! Write a letter and deliver it on horseback! Schedule them...
Less lag time? Cool, but not any different than we had at 11 teams....
Easier scheduling for ADs? You guys make to Goddamn much money to complain about this....

This is as shortsighted as DB's comments about it being fiscally irresponsible to ever play non-conference games outside of the Big House. Play 8 Big Ten games, schedule Notre Dame and a medium-to-high level BCS opponent and two division 1-A cupcakes. Boom scheduled.

Rant finished.


August 4th, 2011 at 11:16 PM ^

Big Ten Schools to Play Nine Conference Games Beginning with 2017 Season; Still No Word on How Many OSU Games Will Count This Year.