Your 2015 And 2016 Big Ten Schedules

Submitted by Brian on May 21st, 2012 at 11:52 AM

They have been released by pressing. Poor guy with the schedules. He had no idea he would be crushed with rocks until they oozed out of him.


Wisconsin: remember them?


Oct. 3: at Michigan State

Oct. 10: Wisconsin

Oct. 17: Minnesota

Oct. 24: at Illinois

Oct. 31: Bye

Nov. 7: Nebraska

Nov. 14: at Northwestern

Nov. 21: at Iowa

Nov. 28: Ohio State

Dec. 5: Big Ten Championship Game


Oct. 1: Michigan State

Oct. 8: at Minnesota

Oct. 15: Northwestern

Oct. 22: Bye

Oct. 29: at Wisconsin

Nov. 5: Illinois

Nov. 12: at Nebraska

Nov. 19: Iowa

Nov. 26: at Ohio State

Dec. 3: Big Ten Championship Game

How about some bullets?

Again with the brutal home-road attractiveness swings. By lining up Wisconsin with Nebraska and Ohio State the Big Ten has turned the 2016 home slate into a 2012-like dog. It's far enough in the future that maybe Illinois could be good or something, but that is three teams that traditionally hover around .500—if they're lucky, in Illinois's case—and Iowa. Iowa may be going through a painful transition period around then if Ferentz decides to hang 'em up or is in the senescence phase of his career (he'll be 62 when the 2012 season starts).

So, like, bleah. Meanwhile: enjoy storming the @ ND, @ Wisconsin, @ Nebraska, @ OSU castle. Hopefully we have an Andre the Giant by then.

Woo Northwestern night game? Putting MSU and a bye in October severely limits options for a night game in 2016. IIRC, Big Ten teams can't play at night in November—or at least the road team has to agree to it—and Dave Brandon has said he won't let the juggalos burn down Ann Arbor. ND will also be on the road, so unless Michigan lines up an attractive nonconference home game get ready for an 8 PM start against the Wildcats. This may be the main reason Brandon is trying to lock down a Pac-12 home and home before the scheduling agreement kicks in.

2015 will obviously be Wisconsin.

Nicely situated byes at least. Two weeks to prep for important games both years and a break right in the middle of the conference season.

Of course we never see Indiana. Not that I'm making big wavy complaints about that. But after years of accidentally getting tougher than average schedules because of poorly-timed byes, the institutional bias towards tough Michigan schedules really hits home when you think about this: MSU plays Indiana 100% of the time and OSU 40% of the time. Michigan plays Indiana 40% of the time and OSU 100% of the time.



May 21st, 2012 at 12:15 PM ^

"MSU plays Indiana 100% of the time and OSU 40% of the time. Michigan plays Indiana 40% of the time and OSU 100% of the time."

Which means that Michigan gets screwed by the B1G 100% of the time.


May 21st, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

This is a rare case of divisions not changing anything because MSU didn't play OSU that much before.  They didn't play each other 14 times since 1980 before last year. 

As for our conference rotation, this kind of reminds me of when we played Penn State at home during even years when we had to play at Notre Dame and OSU.  But then after Chris Perry at home in overtime in 2002, PSU rotated off the schedule for 2 years and then played at Ann Arbor again which gave us Henne to Manningham on the final play...but that changed to playing at ND, OSU and PSU in even numbered years now.  

I liked it better when we had an equal number of good home and away games instead of them all falling into one category.  Those 2012 and 2016 away games scare the crap out of me.    

Everyone Murders

May 21st, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

If I recall this correctly, the MSU-IU is a constant because MSU and IU are "protected secondary rivalry" schools or some such rot.  Again relying on memory, I think the schools themselves agreed to those rivalries.  On one hand, you have to wonder if the MSU brain trust opted for IU to have a perpetual virtual bye-week on their schedule and thus pad their schedule ad infitum.  On the other hand, I'm not sure who else would have had MSU as their "secondary rival".  The PSU - MSU land grant business seemed really forced from afar.  And who else really cares about MSU other than U-M?  So maybe the MSU - IU pairing is more of "no other prom date available/interested" situation than an MSU schedule-padding ruse.

In any event, I'm not sure that's the "B1G screwing Michigan" so much as Sparty gonna Spart.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

michigan and indiana share a border, so i suppose there could be one town that has split allegiances between MSU football and IU football. i guess they both have a lot of basketball history too.

never forget the story of the old brass spitoon trophy they play for. see, there is this spitoon, made of brass and its old!


May 21st, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

they would be in the middle of a heated IU-Northwestern rivalry. This other one takes I-69 northeastish from Indianapolis. (I believe the planned route for interstate expansion will follow IN-37's current route from Bloomington to Indianapolis.)


May 21st, 2012 at 7:48 PM ^

I don't have any problem playing a harder schedule than MSU on average over the years.  We're better than they are!  Long term, we will field a superior program and won't have to worry that we play a harder schedule.  As long as we beat them it shouldn't matter.

OSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin and PSU have comparably difficult schedules which is good enough for me.

Mr. Yost

May 21st, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

To me it's clear...the night game in 2016 is MSU.

I don't see why they wouldn't be. It's not November, it's not the Ohio game...Brandon has said he'd play a night game vs. MSU...and did you see what we wore last year on the road? Clearly tradition isn't a factor in that game.

2015 night game will be Wisconsin...2016 will be State. No question.


May 21st, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

too many MSU fans come to town for that game. Ann Arbor fills to overflowing with many fans who come for the atmosphere not even going to the game. Tensions run high as Sparties start doing as Sparties do, which in the past has at the very least meant an end to half of Ann Arbor's jack-o-lantern population (they target anything M-related).

Suffice to say, moving that post-game atmosphere to the wee hours is asking for a riot. This is one of the most volatile and ill-behaved fanbases in the region--it would be flat-out stupid to give them a moon to howl at when the AA police dread their coming at noon.


May 21st, 2012 at 7:43 PM ^

Night games in the Big House are an unqualified success.  They need to happen every year regardless of who we have to schedule.  If it's Northwesten, then it's Northwestern.  That's much better than not having one.  We should always be able to schedule at least a Division opponent when we can't schedule a big rilvary opponent like ND.  We shoud be having one this year.


May 21st, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

I like the idea of opening the B1G slate against Michigan State, a good regular spot in the schedule would be a neat bookend.  Whether I will like it in practice.

Also, why couldn't the B1G just say "Hey, everybody gets one September conference game".  Or is this an institutional notion within the conference to allow for regularity in non-conference scheduling?


May 21st, 2012 at 12:31 PM ^

What you have to ask yourself is this:  What would college football be without that game?  Who can forget the first time they watched the Quarrel for the Old Oaken Gerbil?



Everyone Murders

May 21st, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

Very good point.  The rich history of the MSU-IU rivalry includes (A) a game in 1987 to determine who went to the Rose Bowl (I still remember Coach Bill Mallory (then IU's coach) making a great speech to MSU after losing the game - see here ) and (B) ________________________.  Uhm, anyone able to help me with (B)?


The Old Oaken Gerbil


May 21st, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

When MSU is competing for the same division title based on total conference record as we are, the Indiana versus Ohio State thing is going to make a big difference. The only silver lining is that Indiana is going to beat Michigan State one of these days, and until then giving them a hard time about their protected rivalry with the Hoosiers is great sport.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

12 teams. 8 game schedule.

Unless you want to play 1 OOC game and then do a round-robin.

Or cut teams.

This is how it is.

We have to play a different schedule. It is impossible not to.

In order for this to matter, we would have to beat MSU, then lose exactly two more games then they did for the rest of the slate. This will rarely happen


May 21st, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

It'll never be completely fair without a round robin - and even then, you'll have people complain about bye week convenience and opponents before games...But we can all agree that playing OSU every year is much harder than not.

But yeah...I have no problem with one OOC game.  As long as it's a good one.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

It is what the conference wanted.

What we wanted was for 'The Game' to be 'The Game', and now it's more likely to be' the game before the conference championship game'.  Wheras The Game used to be a defacto title championship game fairly often, it's now impossible for it to be so.  It's a game about bragging rights more than real consequences...kind of like MSU used to be.

Michigan wanted to protect it's rivalaries but it was impossible to do that without putting MSU, OSU, and Minnesota in the same division, which screwed up things for schools that aren't Michigan.


May 29th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

I would argue that Michigan and Ohio State should be in the same division since that would best emulate in the new alignment what made M-OSU so great to begin with: that game usually decided the Big Ten Champion. There are more things wrong with the B1G realignment than who we got matched up with, and this issue shouldn't be considered in a vacuum because any realignment of rivalry matchups pretty much means a realignment of the divisions unless you want to just start randomly assigning shit. 

The conference is heading towards a system that essentially locks Michigan and Ohio State into playing a premier Pac12 team and each other every year. Number One rule is Michigan and Ohio State play each other every year. However there's an easy way to do that without making our respective schedules vastly different from whichever team we're competing with in our own divisions: put us both in the same division.

Also adding a 9th conference game would be a huge step in the right direction, since it would chop a third of the variation in schedule strength (ie 2 opponents/year not played in opposite div instead of 3) off, while diminishing the importance of any one conference game. Right now, so far as making it to Indianapolis is concerned, it's better for Michigan to beat Sparty and lose to Ohio State. In fact if you flipped those games last year, I believe Michigan is in the Big Ten Championship game, right? Michigan State is now a more important game to us than Ohio State! If this is true, and you're building a Big Ten conference championship system, you're doing it wrong.

Michigan's annually tougher conference schedule is an after-effect of the greater mistake of not putting the biggest rivalry in college football in the same division. It's an effect of band-aiding a bad division split with protected rivalries


May 21st, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Of course we never see Indiana. Not that I'm making big wavy complaints about that. But after years of accidentally getting tougher than average schedules because of poorly-timed byes, the institutional bias towards tough Michigan schedules really hits home when you think about this: MSU plays Indiana 100% of the time and OSU 40% of the time. Michigan plays Indiana 40% of the time and OSU 100% of the time.

I don't get we NOT want to play OSU 100% of the time? The result of wanting to play them every year is that we get a harder schedule. I thought we accepted this?


May 21st, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

This is just getting back to putting Michigan and OSU in separate divisions. That way didn't cause permanent schedule inequality *and* let us play OSU 100% of the time. But FOX would pay more for the posibility of a M/OSU conference championship game, so it was no good.


May 21st, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

OSU has been one of our protected games, for like, forever. And other teams like Wisconsin and MSU have rotated off of playing the Buckeyes. It's not new to the divisions. Before Penn State came along, MSU's was Michigan and...nobody. Somehow where we had to play Ohio every year when no one else did (till Penn State, later), we still have managed to do pretty well.  And don't forget, that means Ohio State has to play us every year too.  I have bigger problems with the "random" stuff always seeming to work against us. I don't mind MSU playing Indiana...they're supposed to. But why is OSU getting a virtual bye every week before us by playing them?  (Not to be confused with the actual bye PSU used to get).  This isn't new either...somehow Indiana rotated off our schedule twice before PSU did once after joining the Big Ten; but that's not supposed to happen.

If it was Iowa playing Indiana every year, no one would care. It's just because it's the Spartans. 


May 21st, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

Now, instead of competing against 10 teams, with varying degrees of advantage, you're putting the microscope on the 5 teams in your division.  Furthermore, our main competition was OSU, who had the same disadvantage.  Now, since MSU and Nebraska are our main competition with OSU in another division, the differences are more drastic.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

Instead, they should be added as a non-conference opponent on years when they rotate off the schedule.  This would keep the rivalry game relatively intact, at least as much as it can be given that they're already in seperate divisons, without putting us at a competitive disadvantage for qualifying for the conference championship game. 

On the timing front - Nebraska or Michigan State should close the regular season.  I know that is sacreligious around here, but the reality is that OSU/Michigan has less tangible consequences than it used to.  Now, in a best case scenario, the teams are playing a warm-up game for a rematch. Now, it's in Michigan's interests for OSU to win a lot of games (against our divison).  If that's going to be the case, it's more interesting to play OSU in October, followed by a November showdown with Nebraska/MSU for a right to play in the championship game (where we can theoretically play OSU again to close the season).



May 21st, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

Some holidays get observed on Mondays, because it makes life better for everyone.  It doesn't diminish the significance.

We already messed with tradition by setting up a neutral site rematch and making it in MIchigan's interests for OSU to win half its games.  The timing of The Game is a small change in comparison.