Big Ten Releases 2016, 2017 Schedules

Jonathan Daniel

2016 is only four seasons away, after all.

We're still four seasons away from the 2016 season, but the Big Ten released the conference schedules for both the 2016 and 2017 schedules on Thursday. Why is this a big deal? Well, honestly, it's not. It's just a schedule, and as I said, it's one we don't have to worry about for another four seasons.

However, there is something unique about the schedules. The 2016 season will be the first year that the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule, which means Illinois will play the other six teams in the West Division and three teams from the East.

So how do the schedules look? I'll stop wasting your time and get to it. I bet you didn't even read any of this part.

2016

10/1 at Nebraska
10/8 vs Purdue
10/15 at Rutgers
10/22 at Michigan
10/29 vs Minnesota
11/5 vs Michigan State
11/12 at Wisconsin
11/19 vs Iowa
11/26 at Northwestern

2017

9/30 vs Nebraska
10/7 at Iowa
10/14 vs Rutgers
10/21 at Minnesota
10/28 vs Wisconsin
11/4 at Purdue
11/11 vs Indiana
11/18 at Ohio State
11/25 vs Northwestern

Now, as you may have noticed, in 2016 the Illini have four home games and they have five in 2017. That will be the case for the entire divisions. The East gets five home games in 2016 while the West gets five home games in 2017 and my guess is that will alternate every year. The thinking being that if you're going to have an unbalanced schedule, it's best to keep the what balance you have in the divisions.

You'll also notice that Illinois plays Rutgers as a conference opponent for the first time on October 15, 2016. Maryland does not appear on either schedule, so the earliest that the Illini will face their other new conference member would be the 2018 season.

As for cross-divisional opponents the Illini get Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State.

You can see all of Illinois' future football schedules here.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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