By: Jay Kidwell
The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule consists of eight games for each of the Big Ten's 14 teams and feature a new division alignment.
Iowa's Big Ten schedule includes one home game in the first five conference weekends, and concludes with three November home games.
The Hawkeyes open the Big Ten slate with a divisional contest at Purdue on Sept. 27, before their first bye week Oct. 4. The Hawkeyes open their Big Ten home schedule against Indiana on Oct. 11, and visit College Park, Md., for their first-ever meeting against Maryland on Oct. 18. Iowa finishes its October schedule with its second bye week on Oct. 25.
Iowa's five November games are all division matchups, beginning with Northwestern on Nov. 1 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes then play back-to-back road games at Minnesota (Nov. 8) and Illinois (Nov. 15). Iowa's visit to Champaign represents the first game against the Illini since 2008. Iowa concludes the regular season with consecutive home trophy games against Wisconsin (Nov. 22) and Nebraska (Nov. 28).
The 2014 conference season begins on Sept. 13 with Rutgers making its Big Ten debut by hosting fellow East Division member Penn State. Maryland will take part in its first Big Ten game two weeks later on Sept. 27 with an East Division matchup at Indiana.
From Sept. 27 to Nov. 29, the 2014 Big Ten schedule will feature 10 consecutive weekends of Big Ten competition, boasting at least five conference games each week. All 14 teams will be in action during the final two weekends of Big Ten play, including six division games each weekend. The winners of each division will meet in the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division, and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.
The Big Ten will hold the 2013 Football Media Days and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, featuring all 12 head coaches and some of the nation's top returning players. The 118th season of Big Ten football kicks off Thursday, Aug. 29, and culminates with the third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7. The winner of the title game will earn the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in either the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
Before Big Ten action starts on Sept. 27, Iowa will play four nonconference games, including three-straight home games to open the 2014 campaign. The Hawkeyes host Northern Iowa (Aug. 30), Ball State (Sept. 6), and Iowa State (Sept. 13) in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, before traveling to Pittsburgh (Sept. 20) for its lone nonleague road contest.
2014 Iowa Football Schedule
Aug. 30 Northern Iowa
Sept. 6 Ball State
Sept. 13 Iowa State
Sept. 20 at Pittsburgh
Sept. 27 at Purdue *
Oct. 11 Indiana
Oct. 18 at Maryland
Nov. 1 Northwestern *
Nov. 8 at Minnesota *
Nov. 15 at Illinois *
Nov. 22 Wisconsin *
Nov. 28 Nebraska *
* - Divisional game
Matthew Weitzel | Associate Director | Iowa Athletic Communications