Press release, yo!
Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference office released the game times and television plans for 14 home football contests today to appear during prime time on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. At least one Big Ten contest will be featured during prime time in the first two weeks of non-conference play and on the first six Saturdays of conference action. The prime-time schedule will include three games each for Illinois, Indiana and Iowa and a pair of outings each for Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State.
The non-conference home schedule will hit prime time with three contests the opening week of the year, beginning with a Thursday night matchup between Indiana and Eastern Kentucky to kick off the 2009 campaign on Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. Two prime-time tilts will be featured on the opening Saturday, Sept. 5, with Illinois facing Missouri at 3:40 p.m. ET on ESPN and Wisconsin hosting Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
The second Saturday of non-conference play will be highlighted by a rematch between four-time defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State and USC, a game the Trojans won last year at home. The Buckeyes and Trojans will square off at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Big Ten Network will also feature a pair of contests to kick off at 7 p.m. ET the same night, including Illinois hosting Illinois State and Minnesota taking on Air Force in the first game at the Gophers’ new TCF Bank Stadium.
The Big Ten schedule begins on Saturday, Sept. 26, with Iowa hitting the road to face reigning Big Ten Champion Penn State, after the Nittany Lions shared last year’s title with Ohio State. The Iowa-Penn State contest will be played at 8 p.m. ET on ABC or ESPN. The conference’s final non-conference prime-time game will also take place that night when Purdue hosts Notre Dame at 8 p.m. ET on ABC or ESPN.
The month of October will feature six prime-time outings, including four games on the Big Ten Network, one contest on ABC or ESPN and another matchup on ESPN or ESPN2. The complete prime-time schedule for the 2009 campaign appears below.
The Big Ten will hold the 2009 Football Media Days and 38th annual Kickoff Luncheon on Monday and Tuesday, July 27-28, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featuring all 11 head coaches and some of the conference’s top returning players. The 114th season of Big Ten football kicks off beginning with every team in action on Sept. 3 or 5.
2009 BIG TEN PRIME-TIME FOOTBALL GAMES
Sept. 3 Eastern Kentucky at INDIANA, 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Sept. 5 Missouri vs. ILLINOIS, 3:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Northern Illinois at WISCONSIN, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Sept. 12 Illinois State at ILLINOIS, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Air Force at MINNESOTA, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
USC at OHIO STATE, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Sept. 26 IOWA at PENN STATE, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Notre Dame at PURDUE, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Oct. 3 OHIO STATE at INDIANA, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Oct. 10 MICHIGAN at IOWA, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Oct. 17 ILLINOIS at INDIANA, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Oct. 24 IOWA at MICHIGAN STATE, 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Oct. 31 MICHIGAN STATE at MINNESOTA, 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
PENN STATE at NORTHWESTERN, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN2