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).