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Does the Big Ten football non-conference schedule do anything for you?

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Brigham Young Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Almost everyone’s got a real opponent on their schedule (no, Illinois, South Florida at Soldier Field still doesn’t count, and dear God, if Northwestern beating you there was bad, what do you think is going to happen this time).


Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

September 1, 6:30pm, NBC

Hope, like these two teams’ September Heisman campaigns, springs eternal for both Michigan and Notre Dame, both of whom consistently make early season top 10 rankings, then don’t do anything with it.

That’s it. This is probably the best game of the Big Ten’s entire non-conference slate. Stop reading now, if you value your health.

Ohio State Buckeyes at TCU Horned Frogs

September 15, AT&T Stadium

I’d put this one above the Michigan-Notre Dame tilt,’s TCU. Do we care? We probably should, because they have won at least 11 games in 3 of the last 4 seasons. It’s in JerryWorld, meaning it’ll probably be hyped beyond all belief.

But there’s something “meh” about this that I just can’t shake here.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Notre Dame

November 3

I should be clear as to why you need to watch this one (of course, that will be rendered moot if/when Clayton Thorson is dead or something but Northwestern runs a Heisman campaign for him all summer no I’m not bitter why do you ask): Notre Dame has not beaten Northwestern since 1994. That will likely change this year. You enjoy watching Northwestern being miserable, no? Or, on the off-chance Northwestern plays competent football, they will once again beat Notre Dame. You enjoy watching Notre Dame lose, no?

Your other viewing options will be Nebraska-Ohio State and Michigan-Penn State. Unless you’re a fan of one of those two, you’re watching this, and you’re probably flipping back on commercials from UNL-OSU or Michigan-PSU.


Michigan State Spartans at Arizona State Sun Devils

September 8

If there is a God it’ll be like, 9pm when this game is played, Herm Edwards won’t have synergized optimal efficiency in the corporate workplace locker room yet, and Arizona State will still put up 500 yards, win or lose.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Colorado Buffaloes

September 8

The Buffs took a step back from their 2016 division title campaign, but the storylines still abound in this game—a Big XII reunion between two “rivals” who don’t like each other but swear it’s cool, they’re not actually that into the rivalry, sure, but have you heard Scott Frost is the coach of Nebraska? Here’s his first big test!

If It’s On, Sure

Maryland Terrapins vs. Texas Longhorns

September 1, FedEx Field

I, uh...I don’t think it’ll be 51-41 again. But Maryland proved us all wrong last year, so I suppose we owe it to them to tune in.

Penn State Nittany Lions at Pittsburgh Panthers

September 8

The non-rivalry rivalry that we will still watch if it’s on because there’s that glimmer of schadenfreude when Pitt starts the game competently but then loses to a much more quality Penn State. You will turn this game off by halftime if you are not a Penn State fan, and you will have a more pleasant Saturday because of it.

This is conceivably football

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Virginia Cavaliers (September 8)

Did you know these two teams played in 2017? It’s true!

Northwestern vs. Duke Blue Devils (September 8)

Did you know these two teams played in 2017? I hate everything.

wisconsin badgers vs. BYU Cougars (September 15)

It wasn’t pretty last year. Unless Kalani Sitake relocates the horseshoe that was lodged up his ass during his first season, it won’t be pretty this year.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Missouri Tigers (September 15)
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Boston College Eagles (September 22)

In back-to-back weeks, Purdue gives us something of a “huh, well, they should beat these middling-to-lower-tier P5 programs” matchup. Will they win both—at home? Probably! There might even be Brohm-Ball played!

El Assico!

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa St. Cyclones (September 8)


Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Kansas Jayhawks (September 15)


Which game is the best B1G non-conference game?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Michigan-fuck Notre Dame
    (82 votes)
  • 16%
    Ohio State-TCU
    (51 votes)
  • 7%
    Northwestern-fuck Notre Dame
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    (24 votes)
  • 15%
    El Assico!
    (48 votes)
  • 18%
    (56 votes)
  • 7%
    Other, but tell us in the comments or we take a donation away from a charity.
    (23 votes)
306 votes total Vote Now