May 16, 2013
The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten's 14 teams, feature a new division alignment, include the conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers and culminate with the fourth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game.
The 2014 Big Ten season begins on Sept. 13, with Rutgers making its Big Ten debut by hosting fellow East Division member Penn State. Maryland will take part in its first Big Ten game two weeks later on Sept. 27 with an East Division matchup at Indiana. Four other conference games will be held on Sept. 27, including two West Division matchups with Illinois at Nebraska and Iowa at Purdue and two cross-division contests with Minnesota at Michigan and Northwestern at Penn State. The Oct. 4 schedule will feature the Terrapins' first home Big Ten game against fellow East Division member Ohio State along with an East Division matchup in Michigan at Rutgers and West Division contests in Nebraska at Michigan State, Purdue at Illinois and Wisconsin at Northwestern.
From Sept. 27 to Nov. 29, the 2014 Big Ten schedule will feature 10 consecutive weeks of Big Ten competition, boasting at least five conference games each week. All 14 teams will be in action during the final two weeks of Big Ten play, including six division games each week. The final weekend of the 2014 season begins with Nebraska at Iowa in a matchup of West Division rivals on Friday, Nov. 28. The Saturday, Nov. 29, schedule feature two more West Division matchups in Illinois at Northwestern and Minnesota at Wisconsin, three East Division contests in Michigan at Ohio State, Michigan State at Penn State and Rutgers at Maryland and a cross-division game with Purdue at Indiana. The winners of each division will meet in the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football 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. 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.
The Big Ten will hold the 2013 Football Media Days and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, featuring all 12 head coaches and some of the nation's top returning players. The 118th season of Big Ten football kicks off Thursday, August 29, and culminates with the third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7, to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and televised by FOX. The winner of the title game will earn the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in either the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.