IOWA CITY — Geographical realignment ended the league’s permanent cross-divisional series except for the Indiana-Purdue rivalry.
But over the next four football seasons, every Big Ten team is assigned a permanent opponent in the opposite division. Iowa will face Penn State every season from 2016-19. Other series played annually during that period include Wisconsin-Michigan, Nebraska-Ohio State, Northwestern-Michigan State, Illinois-Rutgers and Minnesota-Maryland, as well as Purdue-Indiana.
Spanning that four-year scheduling cycle, every school will compete against two other cross-divisional opponents twice and four opponents once. Iowa plays Rutgers and Michigan in 2016 and 2019. The single-plays include Ohio State and Michigan State in 2017 and Maryland and Indiana in 2018. That scheduling pattern was created for the Big Ten’s nine-game schedule, which debuts this year.
Except for Purdue-Indiana, those semi-permanent, cross-divisional series will change beginning in 2020, Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner confirmed. Schools will play an opposite division opponent four times, two others twice and four foes once from 2020-23. League officials and athletics directors have discussed those future schedules but not yet approved them.
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