It’s real — but I'm not sure it’s spectacular.
The Big Ten announced the 2024 football schedule on Thursday. It’s the first league schedule for 18 teams, with USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon joining the league next year.
Illinois’ first conference game in this new era will be Sept. 21 at Nebraska, followed by a trip to Penn State.
That’s followed by a bye week, with three home games in four weeks (Purdue, Michigan and Minnesota). One road trip in there to Eugene to face the Ducks.
Another bye week, before Senior Day against Sporty.
Two road games to close it out (????) in Piscataway and Evanston (yay, Hat!).
It’s not a very even schedule, with four home matchups in a five-game stretch in the middle, but the travel is manageable.
Notable that Illinois was set to face EIU on Sept. 21, but that’s the date of the Nebraska contest. So Illinois is working on adding a Week 0 opponent on Aug. 31.