Future Big Ten nonconference games to watch

Future Big Ten nonconference games to watch

This week’s list: Future Big Ten nonconference games to circle on the calendar

Opponent ... North Carolina
Date ... Sept. 12, 2015
Why ... Chapel Hill is a lovely college town. Scenic, too. Plus, Illini will make first trip to Tar Heel country since 1987. And, if you’re an Illinois fan, it’s easy to get up for this game. Just think of Sean May.

Opponent ... Wake Forest
Date ... Sept. 26, 2015
Why ... Perhaps the Hoosiers’ Kevin Wilson and Demon Deacons’ Dave Clawson will have both programs turned around before schools play a football game against one another for the first time.

Opponent ... Northern Illinois
Date ... Sept. 1, 2018
Why ... Huskies are the team no power conference school wants to schedule. Just ask the Hawkeyes after what Jordan Lynch & Co. did in last year’s opener. But, here they are again. Folks in Iowa City are already nervous.

Opponent ... Texas
Date ... Sept. 2, 2017
Why ... Who knows what Charlie Strong’s defense will look like by the time Maryland treks to Austin, but we’ll go out on a limb and say it’s good. Teams meet again in 2018 for “neutral site” game in Landover, Md.

Opponent ... UCLA
Date ... Sept. 2, 2023
Why ... Future schedules are littered with marquee opponents (we’d expect nothing less). But something about playing the Bruins in the Rose Bowl (let’s hope it’s still around) makes this one more special.

Michigan State
Opponent ... Notre Dame
Date ... Sept. 23, 2017
Why ... Spartans will host Fighting Irish for first time since 2017 (no games in 2014 or 2015). And none scheduled for beyond 2017. Too bad. This is a must-see game every September.

Opponent ... Colorado
Date ... Sept. 18, 2021
Why ... Let’s hope the Buffaloes are back to what they were when Bill McCartney was in charge by the time Minnesota heads west. Heck, even when Rick Neuheisel was in Boulder is better than anything Colorado has done recently.

Opponent ... Oregon
Date ... Sept. 17, 2016
Why ... Many options to choose (games against Tennessee in 2026 and 2027; no, that’s not a misprint) But with the Ducks coming to Lincoln, the pregame hype should be on another level.

Opponent ... Stanford
Date ... Sept. 5, 2015
Why ... Before Wildcats make the trip to Palo Alto during the 2016 season, Cardinal will head up to Evanston in a marquee game between two academically sound schools with pretty decent football programs.

Ohio State
Opponent ... Oklahoma
Date ... Sept. 17, 2016
Why ... While future games against Oregon and Texas are tempting to pick instead (and we wouldn’t blame you if you did), playing on the Sooners’ home field should make this a must-watch game in prime time.

Penn State
Opponent ... LSU
Date ... Sept. 5, 2020
Why ... Two classic programs. Two classic uniforms. We hope those two labels still stick with both schools before they meet in a game that is tentatively set to be played at a neutral site.

Opponent ... Missouri
Date ... Sept. 16, 2017
Why ... Maybe Matt Painter will travel to Faurot Field wishing he called Columbia home when the Tigers came calling a few years ago. Alas, the teams are slated to meet on the football field for the first time in regular season since 1956.

Opponent ... Washington
Date ... Sept. 3, 2016
Why ... Probably not too many Scarlet Knight supporters will make the flight to Seattle and Husky Stadium. But, if they do, they’ll enjoy one of the most scenic venues in all of college football.

Opponent ... LSU
Date ... Sept. 3, 2016
Why ... Sure, opening against LSU and Alabama the next two seasons is cool. But they’re in Texas — where, just because it’s bigger doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Particularly since the Badgers will tangle with the Tigers at Lambeau Field.


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