2017 Big Ten Football: Long Time No See

Submitted by SpikeFan2016 on April 16th, 2017 at 4:27 PM

After noticing that both of our Big Ten West road trips this season (to Purdue and Wisconsin) are a long time coming, I wanted to take some time to examine which of the conference's teams will be meeting for the first time in a long time, particularly with regards to playing in a given team's home stadium. I probably should be doing this closer to September, but it is content-lacking OT season.

Longest Location-Specific Hiatuses Set to End in 2017:

For this category, I included teams that have not visited their upcoming opponent since 2012 or longer, meaning seniors who are about to graduate after 4 years never had a chance to visit that Big Ten Stadium. All of these teams (except Michigan and Purdue) have played more recently than the gap listed here; this category focuses on home/road specific games.


·      Michigan at Wisconsin (8 years): The Wolverines will return to Madison for the first time in 8 years on November 18th, with our last visit to Camp Randall being a 45-24 loss in 2009 during Rich Rod’s 5-7 year.

·      Ohio State at Iowa (7 years): The Scarlet and Grey last visited Iowa City 7 years ago in 2010, a narrow 20-17 win for the Buckeyes. Their Kinnick drought will end on November 4th.

·      Ohio State at Nebraska (6 years): Along with the Iowa game, this year OSU will visit the only two Big Ten opponents’ stadiums Urban Meyer has yet to lead a Buckeye team into during his 5 years as head coach. The Buckeyes last played in Lincoln in 2011, a 34-27 win for the Huskers over Luke Fickell’s squad.

·      Michigan State at Minnesota (5 years): The Spartans last visited the Twin Cities in 2012, a 26-10 win for the Green and White.

·      Penn State at Iowa (5 years): The Nittany Lions beat the Hawkeyes in Kinnick 38-14 during 2012; PSU’s Big Ten opener is at Iowa on September 23rd.

·      Iowa at Michigan State (5 years): The Hawkeyes have not paid a visit to MSU since 2012, a 19-16 win for the Fighting Ferentz’s. Iowa actually has won two in a row in Spartan Stadium (with the other being in 2009). They will return for MSU’s Big Ten opener on September 30th to try to extend their EL win streak to 3 in a row.

·      Michigan at Purdue (5 years): We have not made the trip to West Lafayette since 2012, a 44-13 blowout win for the Maize and Blue (as you’ll see in the section below, that was also the last time we’ve played the Boilermakers in any locale as they have not been to Ann Arbor since 2011).

·      Indiana at Illinois (5 years): The Hoosiers last visited Champaign (a school they are very in close geographic proximity to) in 2012, a 31-17 victory for IU.

·      Wisconsin at Indiana (5 years): The Badgers last visited Bloomington in 2012, a 62-14 win for Bret Bielma’s final Wisconsin team.


Longest Hiatuses Set to End, Regardless of Location:

The criteria I used for determining this category of 2017 games was teams that haven't played at either of each others' home stadium, or a neutral site, since 2013 or longer (the latter removes MSU vs. Iowa from this list, who haven't played in the regular season in 4 years). If two teams have not played since 2013, that means 4th year seniors this upcoming season will be facing a new conference foe for the first time. 


·      Michigan vs. Purdue (5 years)

·      Ohio State vs. Iowa (4 years)

·      Penn State vs. Nebraska (4 years)

·      Michigan State vs. Minnesota (4 years)

·      Indiana vs. Illinois (4 years)

·      Indiana vs. Wisconsin (4 years)

·      Rutgers vs. Purdue (have not played since RU joined in 2014)

·      Maryland vs. Northwestern (have not played since MD joined in 2014)


Very interesting to say the least that Michigan is involved in the longest hiatus on both lists.

That's all for now, but I have already started compiling two other lists (that are arguably more interesting) that I hope to publish in subseqeunt diaries some other time this week:

  • Long Term Location Specific Hiatuses with determined end dates in 2018 or 2019
  • Location Specific Hiatuses that will not end until 2020 at the earliest (the Big Ten has only released schedules through 2019 to this point). 



April 16th, 2017 at 5:40 PM ^

Interestingly, in 2017, all 14 Big Ten teams will play exactly one other team that their fourth year seniors will not have seen (since 2013 for everyone except Michigan and Purdue, whose drought extends back to 2012). 


That seems to be the new normal going forward, if anything those numbers will go up next year considering 2014 was the jump from 12 to 14. 


April 16th, 2017 at 8:49 PM ^

Wisconsin PLUS Purdue is about as balanced of an offset to the west you could ask for - an annual contender and the cupcake of the conference.   This will begin to change with the 9 game conf schedule in 2018 as Neb rolls in along with Wisc (and NW - while Purdue rolls off).  You'd think they'd give us a 2nd year of Purdue - seems like we play NW all the time.

As for the longest streaks I wonder if it's because with all the changing of divisions we always kept OSU on our schedule.  So when they were in the OPPOSITE division we ALWAYS played them whereas I am unclear anyone else ALWAYS played someone - so if in the old system you always played OSU that meant you had 1 spot less for a rotating opponent.

I could be totally wrong on paragraph 2 as I remember they trie dto make PSU MSU rivals as the protected game and some other garbage matchups in the old system.


April 16th, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

I think that is partially the reason, although it's probably part luck too. The other factor for Michigan is that they are trying to schedule Minnesota more than the average West team given the Little Brown Jug. 


When I am finished going through the total numbers, you will see that Indiana and Purdue are extremely overrepresented on the list of long hiatuses as they are the only two that still have a protected crossover. 


Two quick examples for now of Purdue and Indiana taking the cake: 

  • The longest current planned streak for Big Ten teams away from each others' stadium is Indiana from visiting Minnesota. The Hoosiers have not been to Minneapolis since the last year of George W. Bush's presidency in 2008 and they will not return until next year in 2018. 
  • Purdue actually has gotten extremely lucky with who it misses. Current Big Ten schedules run until 2019. Purdue hasn't played in the Big House since 2011 and won't until at least 2020, the Horseshoe since 2012 and won't until at least 2020, and Beaver Stadium since 2013 and won't until at least 2020. Pretty crazy a Big Ten team will go AT LEAST 7 years without visiting ANY of the conference's three 100,000+ stadiums. The Purdue example is especially crazy because they get both Michigan and Ohio State at home back to back (2012 and 2017 UM will visit West Lafayette, 2013 and 2018 for OSU). Given that Purdue must play at IU in 2020, the most they can visit that year is one of the three stadiums as well, so the droughts will continue for two. 


April 17th, 2017 at 11:05 AM ^

The 9-game conference schedule started last season.  Michigan played host to Wisconsin, traveled to Iowa, and hosted Illinois from the West.  This season, it's the aforementioned trips to Wisconsin and Purdue, plus Minnesota at home.


April 16th, 2017 at 9:00 PM ^

How has Delaney gotten away with making us wait so long to see Rutgers take on Purdue? Isn't that the sort of titanic matchup that conference expansion was designed to create?


April 16th, 2017 at 10:41 PM ^

At least in the Big Ten, each school will play 3 of the 7 teams on the other side of the divison every year which means there should be no ridiculous hiatus. In the SEC, each school only plays 2 of the 7 teams on the other side of the division every year and 1 of the 2 is a protected rival. So that means games like Alabama/Geogia and LSU/Tennessee happen once every 6 years, or even worse they will only play at each others field once every 12 years. They need a 9 game conference schedule badly. 


April 17th, 2017 at 10:07 AM ^

Although we are in much better shape than the SEC, we still will see some pretty long absences going forward, primarily due to the Big Ten's insistence of scheduling two home games in a row for a particular team in the series. 


For example, Michigan will go at least 9 years without hosting Purdue (last in 2011, not planned until 2020 at the earliest) and at least 8 years without visiting Nebraska (last in 2012, not planned until 2020 at the earliest). In both of these cases (and many others), there is double home scheduling. For example, we play @Purdue in 2012 and 2017, and host Nebraska in 2013 and 2018. 



Ali G Bomaye

April 18th, 2017 at 12:16 PM ^

Iowa's playing OSU, PSU, and MSU?  Sounds like they're finally paying the piper for their ridiculously easy conference schedules in 2014 and 2015, during which their crossover games were Indiana x2 and Maryland x2.


April 19th, 2017 at 10:30 AM ^

Iowa and Wisconsin both had a few very easy years (lots of Rutgers/MD matchups; meanwhile, Northwestern still hasn't played either). 


Nice to see things flipping around now. Badgers obviously had it brutal last season, this year is back to mostly easy with @Indiana, vs. Maryland and vs. Michigan. Next year the Badgers have @Michigan and @Penn State though.