The Big Ten announced the conference schedules for the 2016 and 2017 football seasons today, featuring nine-game slates for every Big Ten program for the first time since 1984. The 2016 season gets underway on Oct. 1 in advance of the Big Ten Football Championship Game, slated for Dec. 3. The 2017 season will open on Sept. 2 and conclude with the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 2. The full 2016 and 2017 conference schedules are linked below.
The 2016 season marks the return of a nine-game conference schedule, as teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, while teams from the West Division will host five conference home games during odd-numbered years. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten’s schedule rotation, every student-athlete will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
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.