Northwestern football schedules for 2016 and ’17 released


pat-fitzgerald-bad-ass-northwestern-football

Northwestern football reached a milestone by winning the Gator Bowl January 1. What lies ahead for Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern football program?

Beginning in 2014, the league will welcome Rutgers and Maryland and move from its hilariously terrible divisional breakdown to a geographically based East-West divisional format. With the inception of the nine-game schedule in 2016, each team will face the other six schools in their respective divisions as well as three crossover opponents.

It is the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons that Big Ten teams will play a nine-game conference schedule.

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In 2016, Northwestern football will step out of its home in the West Division to face East Division foes Michigan State (Oct. 15) and Ohio State (Oct. 29) on the road and Indiana (Oct. 22) at home. NU’s visit to the Horseshoe in Columbus will mark the Wildcats’ first road test at Ohio State since the 2007 campaign. The 2016 conference slate also features marquee home dates with Nebraska, Wisconsin and rival Illinois.

The following year, Northwestern football kicks off the conference schedule on Oct. 1 at Iowa and hosts crossover foe Penn State the following week before heading to the east coast for its first-ever meeting on the gridiron with the University of Maryland (Oct. 14). In addition to the Nittany Lions and Terps, Michigan State again appears on the Wildcats’ schedule to round out NU’s out-of-division schedule.

Earlier this spring, Northwestern football and the Big Ten announced conference schedules for the final two years of the eight-game conference format.

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See below for NU’s Big Ten opponents and game dates for the four seasons from 2014-17:

2014 Northwestern Football — Big Ten Schedule
Sept. 27 — at Penn State
Oct. 4 — Wisconsin
Oct. 11 — at Minnesota
Oct. 18 — Nebraska
Nov. 1 — at Iowa
Nov. 8 — Michigan
Nov. 22 — at Purdue
Nov. 29 — Illinois

2015 Northwestern Football — Big Ten Schedule
Oct. 3 — Minnesota
Oct. 10 — at Michigan
Oct. 17 — Iowa
Oct. 24 — at Nebraska
Nov. 7 — Penn State
Nov. 14 — Purdue
Nov. 21 — at Wisconsin
Nov. 28 — at Illinois

2016 Northwestern Football — Big Ten Schedule
Oct. 1 — at Iowa
Oct. 8 — Nebraska
Oct. 15 — at Michigan State
Oct. 22 — Indiana
Oct. 29 — at Ohio State
Nov. 5 — Wisconsin
Nov. 12 — at Purdue
Nov. 19 — at Minnesota
Nov. 26 — Illinois

2017 Northwestern Football — Big Ten Schedule
Sept. 30 — at Wisconsin
Oct. 7 — Penn State
Oct. 14 — at Maryland
Oct. 21 — Iowa
Oct. 28 — Michigan State
Nov. 4 — at Nebraska
Nov. 11 — Purdue
Nov. 18 — Minnesota
Nov. 25 — at Illinois

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. The NFL, NBA expert does a weekly spot for 95.7 The Fan. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on Facebook

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