UW-Penn State in Big Ten finales
MADISON The release Monday of the Big Ten’s 2015 and ‘16 football schedules reaffirmed two key points for Wisconsin’s program and its fans.
First, the Badgers will continue to close the regular season with a marquee game against Leaders Division member Penn State.
Second, UW’s white-hot rivalry with Iowa—the series stands at 42-42-2—could flame out because with the Badgers in the Leaders Division and Hawkeyes in the Legends Division it appears the teams will meet just four times each decade.
The Badgers clinched the Leaders Division title with a 45-7 victory over the Nittany Lions last season in Madison in the teams’ regular-season finale. UW closes the 2012 regular season Nov. 24 at Penn State, and the teams are set to meet in the regular-season finale from 2013 through ’16.
UW and Iowa last played in 2010, when the Badgers rallied for a 31-30 victory in Iowa City in arguably the most entertaining game of the rivalry. The teams’ next meeting comes in 2013 (Nov. 2 at Iowa). They meet again in 2014 (Oct. 4 in Madison) but will not meet in 2015 or 2016.
Michigan rotates back on UW’s schedule in 2015, with the Wolverines hosting UW on Oct. 10. The teams meet in 2016 (Oct. 29 in Madison). UW and Michigan last played in 2010. The Badgers routed the Wolverines, 48-28, in Ann Arbor. That was UW’s seventh victory in 35 games in Ann Arbor.
The 2015 season will mark the first time since 2010 that UW will face Ohio State and Michigan in the regular season. UW that season is at Michigan on Oct. 10 and at Ohio State on Nov. 7.
In 2016, UW hosts both teams in a span of three weeks. The Buckeyes visit Madison on Oct. 29 and the Wolverines visit on Nov. 12. A trip to Purdue is sandwiched between those games, on Nov. 5.
Another team UW fans will miss, at least in the regular season, is Legends Division member Michigan State.
The teams met twice last season, with the Spartans stunning UW with a touchdown pass on the final play of the game in East Lansing but UW rallying to win the inaugural Big Ten title game.
Michigan State travels to Madison on Oct. 27 next season and it is possible they could meet in the 2012 Big Ten title game. However, the teams won’t meet in the regular season from 2013 through 2016.
UW’s Big Ten schedules in 2015 and 2016
2015: Hosts against Indiana Oct. 3; at Michigan Oct. 10; at Illinois Oct. 17; hosts Nebraska Oct. 24; bye Oct. 31; at Ohio State Nov. 7; hosts Purdue Nov. 14; at Minnesota Nov. 21; hosts Penn State Nov. 28.
The Big Ten championship game is set for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
2016: At Indiana Oct. 1; at Nebraska Oct. 8; hosts Illinois Oct. 15; bye Oct. 22; hosts Michigan Oct. 29; at Purdue Nov. 5; hosts Ohio State Nov. 12; hosts Minnesota Nov. 19; at Penn State Nov. 26.
The Big Ten championship game is set for Dec. 3 at a site to be determined.