The Big Ten Conference announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season on Thursday morning, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 Big Ten schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten's 14 teams, and will feature the debut of the East-West divisional alignment.
Beginning in 2014, Nebraska will play in the West Division along with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. The East Division will consist of Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams in the other division in 2014 and 2015, as the league schools will play an eight-game conference schedule. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game Big Ten schedule.
"With the addition of two new programs to the Big Ten Conference and with a new divisional alignment, we embark on a new era of Nebraska football," Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said. "Accommodating the changes for the 2014 schedule was challenging for the Conference and for the member schools. Nebraska once again will host seven home games, which will include first-time visitors to Lincoln, Purdue and Rutgers. We are excited for this upcoming season and for the 2014 slate."
Nebraska will open the 2014 Big Ten schedule at home against Illinois on Sept. 27. In addition to Illinois, the Huskers will play host to West Division schools Purdue (Nov. 1) and Minnesota (Nov. 22) at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska's home cross-division opponent in 2014 will be Big Ten newcomer Rutgers, which visits Lincoln on Oct. 25. The game will be Rutgers' first-ever trip to Lincoln, and just the second all-time meeting between the schools.
The Huskers' Big Ten road schedule in 2014 includes games at West Division foes Northwestern (Oct. 18), Wisconsin (Nov. 15) and Iowa (Friday, Nov. 28). NU will play its cross-division road game in 2014 at Michigan State, traveling to East Lansing on Oct. 4.
The 2014 Big Ten Championship Game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 6.
In addition to the 2014 Big Ten schedule, Nebraska will play non-conference home games against Florida Atlantic (Aug. 30), McNeese State (Sept. 6) and Miami, Fla. (Sept. 20). In non-conference play, Nebraska will travel to Fresno State on Sept. 13.
Other Schedule Notes
• Nebraska's only other matchup with Rutgers came in the 1920 season, when Nebraska posted a 28-0 victory at the Polo Grounds in New York City.
• Purdue will make its first-ever trip to Lincoln in 2014. The teams have met just once previously (1958, West Lafayette), prior to this season's game at Purdue.
• Nebraska will open Big Ten play each of the next two years against Illinois. In addition to the Big Ten home opener in 2014, NU will open conference play against the Fighting Illini this fall, with the matchup on Oct. 5 in Lincoln.
2014 Nebraska Schedule
Aug. 30 Florida Atlantic
Sept. 6 McNeese State
Sept. 13 at Fresno State
Sept. 20 Miami, Fla.
Sept. 27 Illinois
Oct. 4 at Michigan State
Oct. 11 BYE
Oct. 18 at Northwestern
Oct. 25 Rutgers
Nov. 1 Purdue
Nov. 8 BYE
Nov. 15 at Wisconsin
Nov. 22 Minnesota
Nov. 28 (Fri.) at Iowa
Dec. 6 Big Ten Championship Game