Irate to ecstatic: What every fan base should think about the latest B1G schedule
The third edition of the Big Ten football schedule was released Saturday morning. We cannot get enough of scheduling grids, so here’s a look at the latest.
The Big Ten Conference announced today the schedule for the 2020 football season, including an eight-game Conference-only schedule starting the weekend of October 24 plus a ninth game for all 14 teams during a newly created Big Ten Champions Week the weekend of December 19. pic.twitter.com/jaDXMhh2C8
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 19, 2020
How should each fan base feel? Who has the easiest road? Which fan bases deserve to be the most upset? We’ll separate them by tiers of emotion.
Fans who should be ecstatic
As with every team in the West Division, the first thing we have to look at is whether teams avoided Penn State and/or Ohio State as likely the 2 best teams in the conference. Northwestern did just that and drew Maryland and Michigan State instead.
Instead of Ohio State and/or Penn State, the Badgers will see Michigan and Indiana in their crossover games. Wisconsin could be favored in all 8 of its matchups, so Badgers fans have to be happy.
The Boilermakers avoided the big boys of the B1G East in their crossover games and will see Rutgers and Indiana instead. Consider this a win for Purdue despite having to face Wisconsin and Minnesota on the road.
The Buckeyes should have no issues with their crossover opponents Nebraska and Illinois. The schedule starts strong early with Penn State on the road in the second game of the season and finishes off with Michigan at home.
Urban Meyer on Fox on Ohio State: "That's an easy schedule."
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 19, 2020
Fans who shouldn’t complain
Rutgers will see Illinois and Purdue in its crossover games, so the Scarlet Knights were treated about as well as possible against the West. The danger, of course, still lurks in the East. In his first season back, Greg Schiano will get Ohio State on the road with Michigan and Penn State at home.
It will be a rebuilding year for the Spartans, but they were helped out by not seeing Wisconsin in 2020. Michigan State could definitely be underdogs against Iowa and Northwestern, but it could be worse. The Spartans will still need to deal with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, which will be a challenge for each team in the East.
Fans with mixed emotions
Illinois will see polar opposites from the East Division with the best team in the conference as well as the worst. The Fighting Illini will get Ohio State at home and Rutgers on the road. West foes Iowa and Minnesota are at home, while Wisconsin is on the road. Consider it a wash, Illinois fans.
Just like Illinois, the crossover games will likely finish 1-1 for the Hawkeyes with Penn State and Michigan State. Iowa finishes off its season with a home game against Wisconsin. Could this be a B1G West title game? Maybe.
The Terrapins will see Northwestern and Minnesota in their crossover games, avoiding Wisconsin and Iowa. In the East, Penn State and Michigan will be on the road with Ohio State at home.
The Nittany Lions will see at least somewhat of a challenge from their crossover opponents with Nebraska and Iowa. Keeping the Badgers off the schedule is key, and getting Ohio State at home in Week 2 might be the biggest game of the B1G regular season.
Minnesota will see what is probably going to be the 3rd-best team in the B1G East with Michigan and a 2nd-worst team with Maryland in the crossover games. The West hurdle: The Gophers will play Wisconsin on the road later in the season.
Fans who can be upset
Indiana saw a bit of hype throughout the summer after a solid 2019 season, and it will see Wisconsin and Purdue as its crossover games. The Hoosiers will get Penn State and Michigan at home with Ohio State on the road. Getting to .500 should be Indiana’s ceiling with that schedule.
The 4 toughest opponents Michigan could face in the B1G would probably be Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Well, the Wolverines will play all of those teams in 2020. If Michigan continues to struggle against good teams, there could be plenty of noise in Ann Arbor by the end of the season.
Fans who should be furious
The B1G flexed its muscles after Nebraska led the charge against the conference the past month. The result? The Cornhuskers will see the 3 best teams in the B1G the first 4 weeks of the season, which includes crossover games against Ohio State and Penn State. Yikes.