The 2013 and 2014 Big Ten schedules aren't quite finalized, but a few tidbits of information about what's in store have been confirmed.
The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Scott Dochterman reported Friday that the Iowa-Wisconsin series will resume in 2013 after a hiatus the next two seasons. This rivalry was arguably the biggest casualty of the division split, as Iowa and Wisconsin have met in 72 of the past 74 seasons.
The Illinois-Iowa series also will resume in 2013 after a four-year hiatus, Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner told Dochterman. Because of expansion and the scheduling logistics, three pairs of teams are going four years without meeting. They are: Illinois-Iowa, Northwestern-Ohio State and Indiana-Minnesota. Each Big Ten team had two no-plays before expansion, a total that increases to three as long as the conference schedule remains at eight games.
It seems like four years will be the maximum gap for two Big Ten teams not to play in the regular season. Iowa-Ohio State and Purdue-Northwestern are two regular-season matchups you won't see between 2011-14.
Big Ten officials and athletic directors met in Indianapolis during the Big Ten basketball tournaments and discussed the possibility of going to nine conference games, but no decision has been made. Home games continue to be the main sticking point.
“Whenever you start nine games, whether it’s 2015 or later, you have to look at who has nonconference road games," Rudner told The Gazette. "If a school has a nonconference road game in consecutive years, then it’s problematic because you can't provide that institution with five conference home games back-to-back. It's just not fair. So I think we’ll probably -- whether it’s this spring or this summer -- we'll probably have a better clue as to how we’re going to do it, if we’re going to do it, and if we are, when we’re going to do it." As Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said in August, we're not likely to see a nine-game Big Ten schedule until at least 2015. I'd still be surprised if we don't see the increase, but the discussion isn't over.
The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier reports that Nebraska will visit Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium in 2013 in a division crossover game. The Boilers return to Lincoln in 2014 and also will face Michigan State in crossover games both seasons.
Big Ten teams will have two open dates in both 2013 and 2014.
Some interesting stuff, especially about the nine-game schedule debate and the gaps teams will have between meetings.