1. 2021 Big Ten schedule winners and losers
Without even playing a game yet, here are the Big Ten schedule winners and losers.
Winner: Ohio State
Oh, isn’t that just dandy that the Buckeyes get one of the better overall scheduling deals of the bunch.
The Minnesota game is on the road, but that’s right out of the gate. The other road games? Rutgers, Indiana and Nebraska before finishing up against Michigan, and the trip to face IU comes after a week off. Penn State and Michigan State are at home, and there’s no Wisconsin, Northwestern or Iowa from the West.
You’re sort of taking the L to begin with if you’re Rutgers considering you don’t get to play … Rutgers. There’s no avoiding the rest of the Big Ten East, but this is just brutal.
The Scarlet Knights play four road games in five dates in the second half of the year. There’s a week off shoehorned in, but whoopee – that’s before facing Illinois. Oh, and that home game that’s supposed to be a bit of an oasis? Wisconsin.
If that isn’t nice enough, the Michigan game is on the road, and that’s followed up by an easy breezy break when Ohio State comes to town.
Here’s where the Hawkeyes win. There’s no Ohio State, no Michigan, and no Michigan State from the West. They do have to play Penn State, but that’s at home along with the date at Indiana. Going to Maryland will be more difficult, but that’s manageable. They also get a week off to rest up and get ready for Wisconsin, but …
Here’s where the Hawkeyes lose. They play the Badgers on the road and they have to go to Nebraska and Northwestern as part of a finishing kick of three road games in the last five weeks.
And the biggest Big Ten schedule loser is, by a mile …
This is just plain unfair.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dublin, Ireland is great – been there, and no joke, the best burgers and gourmet donuts I’ve ever had – but that’s still a long trip to start the year against Illinois. That’s a must win – the Huskers lost to the Illini in 2020 – considering what’s coming.
There’s a week off to chill right after, but going against MAC powerhouse Buffalo isn’t exactly a layup. And then … at Oklahoma. And then … at Michigan State.
So after a tough September, what does Nebraska get? Northwestern, Michigan and at Minnesota, and we haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet.
Welcome to November.
There’s a game against SE Louisiana on September 13. That comes after playing Ohio State and before going to Wisconsin. And just because that isn’t difficult enough, the Iowa game comes on a Friday after dealing with the Badgers.
Big Ten Schedules, Analysis, Best/Worst Scenarios
East Indiana | Maryland | Michigan
Michigan St | Ohio St | Penn St | Rutgers
West Illinois | Iowa | Minnesota | Nebraska
Northwestern | Purdue | Wisconsin