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Northwestern's 2018 and 2019 B1G Schedules Announced

The Big Ten announced its 2018 and 2019 conference schedules today, meaning we now know the first three "rotations" under the new divisions, and the first two with nine-game conference schedules. Here they are:


Sept. 1 — at Purdue
Sept. 29 — vs. Michigan
Oct. 6 — at Michigan State
Oct. 13 — vs. Nebraska
Oct. 20 — at Rutgers
Oct. 27 — vs. Wisconsin
Nov. 10 — at Iowa
Nov. 17 — at Minnesota
Nov. 24 — vs. Illinois


Sept. 21 — vs. Michigan State
Sept. 28 — at Wisconsin
Oct. 5 — at Nebraska
Oct. 19 — vs. Ohio State
Oct. 26 — vs. Iowa
Nov. 2 — at Indiana
Nov. 9 — vs. Purdue
Nov. 23 — vs. Minnesota
Nov. 30 — at Illinois

The Big Ten will start playing conference games early in the year in 2018, and NU will open the 2018 season at Purdue. It's impossible to predict how good teams will be in 2018 and 2019, but if you go off historical records, the 2019 Big Ten schedule is ridiculously front-loaded. In 2018, NU will make its first visit to Rutgers (the Wildcats will visit the East Coast in 2017 with a game at Maryland).

The 2018 schedule is actually completely set. The Wildcats already have three non-conference games scheduled that year: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Duke and Rice (location TBD). The 2019 schedule has two games so far: vs. Stanford and vs. Syracuse. NU has four conference home games in 2018 (and five away games) so it's likely the Wildcats will want to get the Rice game at home that year so they can have seven home games, though there are a lot of complications with the schedule when also considering the Duke, Stanford and Notre Dame series. We aren't going to project what will happen with those series, though NU will have to either move the home games around, drop a series or play six home games for a year or two. As a reminder, here are the 2016 and 2017 conference schedules.

Oct. 1 — at Iowa
Oct. 8 — vs. Nebraska
Oct. 15 — at Michigan State
Oct. 22 — vs. Indiana
Oct. 29 — at Ohio State
Nov. 5 — vs. Wisconsin
Nov. 12 — at Purdue
Nov. 19 — at Minnesota
Nov. 26 — vs. Illinois

Sept. 30 — at Wisconsin
Oct. 7 — vs. Penn State
Oct. 14 — at Maryland
Oct. 21 — vs. Iowa
Oct. 28 — vs. Michigan State
Nov. 4 — at Nebraska
Nov. 11 — vs. Purdue
Nov. 18 — vs. Minnesota
Nov. 25 — at Illinois

You can read more about those schedules here. The 2016 schedule has four teams on it — vs. Western Michigan, vs. Illinois State, vs. Duke, at Stanford — so NU will have to get rid of one of those games. It's also unclear whether the Wildcats will move the Stanford game to a different year, or switch which team gets the home game each year, in order to get to seven home games. The 2017 schedule currently has two games: at Duke and Rice (location TBD).