Big Ten Spring Football Central
Feb. 25, 2014
The 2014 season will mark the beginning of a new era in Big Ten football, with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, adjusted division alignments and a new bowl lineup. And the 2014 season begins with the start of spring football, which kicks off in late February and March for all 14 teams, with spring games set for April. Below is a tentative schedule for each school, along with links to their football pages for more details. In addition, notes on the new look of Big Ten football appear below:
* practice open to public at Ryan Field
East and West: The new division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules before moving to nine-game conference slates in 2016.
Nine Lives: Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten's schedule rotation, every student-athlete will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons. The Big Ten schedules through the 2019 season can be found at bigten.org.
A National Bowl Slate: The Big Ten unveiled the largest and most diverse postseason lineup in conference history last summer, with 12 different bowl partners spread across the country beginning with the 2014 season. The Big Ten's new bowl lineup will be highlighted by annual games against quality opponents from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Conference USA and Mountain West in California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas, along with the opportunity to visit four other outstanding postseason venues as part of the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten's new bowl lineup will allow teams and fans to visit world-class cities while having the opportunity to experience 11 different NFL stadiums, along with some of the most iconic venues in the country, including Rose Bowl Stadium, Cotton Bowl Stadium and Yankee Stadium. These outstanding facilities have hosted or will host 30 different Super Bowls in 11 different stadiums.
The Lineup: The Big Ten's new bowl lineup consists of the following postseason games:
Bowl Breakdown: The conference office announced six-year bowl extensions with the Capital One and Outback Bowls, an eight-year agreement with the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and six-year agreements with the Fight Hunger and Holiday Bowls and the postseason game to be played in Detroit. The Big Ten also announced agreements for conference teams to appear on three occasions over a six-year period in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces, TaxSlayer.com Gator, Heart of Dallas and Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowls. The Big Ten previously announced a 12-year extension to face a Pac-12 team in the Rose Bowl Game through the 2025 campaign, and unveiled an agreement with the Discover Orange Bowl to send a Big Ten team to face an ACC representative at least three times following the 2014-25 seasons. Big Ten schools will also look to secure berths in the four-team College Football Playoff to begin after the 2014 campaign, with semifinals to rotate between the Chick-fil-A (Atlanta, Ga.), AT&T Cotton (Arlington, Texas), Tostitos Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.), Rose, Discover Orange and Allstate Sugar (New Orleans, La.) Bowls.
Mix and Match: The Big Ten's 2014-19 bowl lineup will also feature a new selection process to ensure outstanding bowl matchups and fresh postseason destinations. Each bowl partner will work with the Big Ten to create the best possible matchup based upon an agreed set of parameters, with final approval by the conference office for all team selections. The Capital One, Fight Hunger, Holiday and Outback Bowls along with the bowl to be played in Detroit will feature at least five different schools during their six-year agreements, while the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will highlight at least six different programs over its eight-year agreement. Combined with the College Football Playoff and three-year rotations with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces, TaxSlayer.com Gator, Heart of Dallas and Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowls, the Big Ten's new bowl lineup will provide a variety of postseason bowl options for conference teams and their fans over the term of the agreements.