4. Who catches the big breaks in Big Ten conference play?
Wisconsin has one brutally weird-nasty early stretch with Appalachian State, at Michigan, Notre Dame – played in Green Bay – and Minnesota before getting a week off, but in general, its conference slate isn’t all that bad.
Last year the Badgers had to play Ohio State twice. This year, they don’t have to deal with the Buckeyes at all unless it’s in the Big Ten Championship. they also don’t have to face Michigan State or Penn State from the East.
After a week off … at Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern at Wrigley Field, at Purdue, Nebraska. Four teams that didn’t go bowling, and Illinois. That’s all before finishing up at Iowa.
Penn State will take the break from not having to play the Badgers.
James Franklin’s team has to go to Michigan, but it gets Ohio State and Michigan State in Happy Valley, and the Big Ten road dates at Indiana, Nebraska and Rutgers are about as nice as can be reasonably asked for.
Purdue might have to deal with at trip to Michigan, but it misses Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State from the East, gets Wisconsin and Iowa at home, and only leaves Indiana twice from October 3rd on.
But the Boilermakers have a few massive early issues to deal with, and they’re not alone …