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Big Ten Football Realignment

Nebraska is entering the Big Ten  in 2011, and the Big Ten Conference will split into two divisions. The big news for Penn State is that it will play Ohio State and Nebraska every year, but will no longer play Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy.

Each division will be split into six teams. Penn State’s division, X, will include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The other division, O, will include Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern.

Division X: Division O:
Illinois Iowa
Indiana Michigan
Ohio State Michigan State
Penn State Minnesota
Purdue Nebraska
Wisconsin Northwestern

The Big Ten will host a championship game  in 2011  in Indianapolis. The winner will receive a shot at either the Rose Bowl or the National Championship. For Penn State, this means that we will have to finish ahead of Ohio State (never an easy task) in order to qualify for the championship game.

The football schedule for Penn State has changed as well. Each Big Ten team will play the other teams in its division every year. Along with those five games, each team will play three from the other division. One of those three games is a rivalry game which also will be played every year. Penn State’s rival will be Nebraska, which means we will no longer compete against our long-time Big Ten rival Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy. The other rivalry games will be Illinois-Northwestern, Indiana-Michigan State, Ohio State-Michigan, Purdue-Iowa and Wisconsin-Minnesota.

Beginning next year, the format and schedule for the Big Ten changes dramatically. For the fans, it means we lose a fun rivalry with Michigan State but regain an old rivalry with Nebraska. It also means that we could possibly face a team from the other division twice in one year if both teams make it to the championship game. With a new team and new schedules, look for an exciting Big Ten in 2011.

Penn State 2011 Football Schedule:

Sept. 3, Indiana State
Sept. 10, Alabama
Sept. 17, at Temple
Sept. 24, Eastern Michigan
Oct. 1, at Indiana
Oct. 8, Iowa
Oct. 15, Purdue
Oct. 22, at Northwestern
Oct. 29, Illinois
Nov. 12, Nebraska
Nov. 19, at Ohio State
Nov. 26, at Wisconsin
Dec. 3, Big Ten Championship Game, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Penn State 2012 Football Schedule:

Sept. 1, Ohio
Sept. 8, at Virginia
Sept. 15, Navy
Sept. 22, Temple
Sept. 29, at Illinois
Oct. 6, Northwestern
Oct. 20, at Iowa
Oct. 27, Ohio State
Nov. 3, at Purdue
Nov. 10, at Nebraska
Nov. 17, Indiana
Nov. 24, Wisconsin
TBD, Big Ten Championship Game

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About the Author

Michael Berton

I grew up in a Philly suburb, then moved to a different one. I am now at Penn State, where I can actually sate my giant appetite for sports. Other than writing, I also play the cello in the Penn State Philharmonic.

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