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Northwestern finalizes nonconference slate

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

After some extensive mixing and matching, Northwestern's 2009 nonconference schedule has been finalized. It turns out the Wildcats will play the same four teams they originally scheduled, but three home games will be on different dates.

Here's the rundown:

  • Sept. 5 vs. Towson

  • Sept. 12 vs. Eastern Michigan

  • Sept. 19 at Syracuse

  • Oct. 10 vs. Miami (Ohio)

The Syracuse game is the lone contest to remain in its original spot. Northwestern was set to open against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 5, host Towson on Sept. 12 and host Eastern Michigan on Oct. 10. But things got muddled when Miami and Kentucky began discussing scheduling a Sept. 5 contest at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Miami dropped a Sept. 12 home contest against Colorado, which will play Toledo instead on Sept. 11. Towson also had to reschedule a Sept. 3 game against Morgan State.

"We were able to accommodate Miami's request to make a scheduling change in our season-opening game while protecting our three home nonconference dates, which was a critical element in these discussions," Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips said in a statement. "To be certain, thanks to all the schools involved, along with the Mid-American Conference.

"We know many of our fans had already built their fall calendars around our home football schedule. Fortunately, we still get to play the three same opponents, just on different Saturdays now."

According to Northwestern, outgoing Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst was instrumental in getting the schedule snafu figured out. The Wildcats open Big Ten play Sept. 26 against Minnesota and visit Purdue before finishing the non-league slate against Miami (Ohio).

The full schedule can be found here.