Penn State will begin conference play against a Big Ten newcomer in 2014 and conclude the season against a familiar end of the year opponent.
The 2014 Big Ten schedule was released this afternoon, and the Nittany Lions will get conference play started when they visit Rutgers on September 13th. The other 10 teams will still be playing non-conference games and will be waiting until September 27th to get Big Ten play underway.
The conference home opener for the Nittany Lions will occur two weeks after Rutgers as Northwestern pays a visit to Beaver Stadium.
Along with the Wildcats, Penn State will also host Ohio State in late October, Maryland a week later, and finish the campaign at home against Michigan State on November 29th.
The Nittany Lions and Spartans met annually from 1993-2010 in a battle for the Land Grant Trophy, but the two programs have not played since.
Aside from Rutgers, the other road games are at Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.
Under the new divisional alignment, Northwestern and Illinois serve as the two crossover opponents for the Nittany Lions in 2014. Gone, however, is the familiar opponent in Wisconsin and the guaranteed annual crossover matchup with Nebraska that looked to be a budding rivalry after two close contests in 2011 and 2012. Beginning in 2016, there will be a switch from an eight-game conference schedule to a nine-game slate.
Penn State is guaranteed at least two bye weeks, but the full slate still needs to be completed with an additional out-of-conference opponent since Rutgers’ entry into the Big Ten bumps that already schedule contest into a conference game.
While nothing is official yet in terms of opponent and location, there have been conversations between Penn State and Central Florida about playing a season opener in Dublin, Ireland if some schedule maneuvering can make it possible among other logistics to work out.
Penn State’s schedule — as it currently reads with 11 games — can be found below. For the full Big Ten schedule containing all conference programs, click here.
2014 Penn State Football Schedule
Aug. 30 – TEMPLE
Sept. 6 – AKRON
Sept. 13 – *at Rutgers
Sept. 20 – UMASS
Sept. 27 – NORTHWESTERN
Oct. 11 – *at Michigan
Oct. 25 – *OHIO STATE
Nov. 1 – *MARYLAND
Nov. 8 – *at Indiana
Nov. 22 – at Illinois
Nov. 29 – *MICHIGAN STATE
* Big Ten East Division game
Note: One non-conference game to be scheduled