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Northwestern to Play Ohio State in Primetime

The ABC/ESPN primetime schedule was announced today for the Big Ten, and Northwestern will be making an appearance on the network. NU will play on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2 against Ohio State on October 5. The actual channel will be determined as the game gets closer — the most prominent primetime game that week will be on ABC, the second-most prominent will be on ESPN and the third-most prominent will be on ESPN 2.

The NU-Ohio State game has been rumored as a possible night game for awhile, given the prominence of each team heading into the season. Both teams are widely considered top 25 teams — just today, ESPN ranked Ohio State No. 1 and Northwestern No. 24 for next season — and considering both teams' early-season schedules, they could both be in the top 15 by the time this game roles around on October 5. The last time NU played OSU under the lights was in 2004.

That game opens up the opportunity for a lot of exposure for Northwestern. It's a chance for the Wildcats to possibly play hose to the popular pregame show ESPN College Gameday for the first time since the Wrigley Field game against Illinois in 2010. Some potential competition for Gameday are Arkansas at Florida and TCU at Oklahoma, but neither of those games — nor any other games that week — are all that appealing, and NU's case will be helped by the fact that it doesn't get Gameday very often. Of course, this discussion is all for naught if NU can't take care of business against Cal, Syracuse, Western Michigan and Maine.

NU could potentially have more night games, since the BTN schedule has yet to come out.