July 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the Big Ten conference tropy during the Big Ten media day at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football: Big Ten Announces 2014 Football Schedule

The 2014 Big Ten conference schedule was announced yesterday (click here for entire schedule). The 2014 season will be the first season of the newly expanded Big Ten which includes the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins. Here are some highlights for the Fighting Illini in 2014:

  • Illinois will open conference play on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This will be only the second meeting between the Illini and Cornhuskers since Nebraska moved to the Big Ten in 2011. These teams will open conference play in Lincoln during 2013 as well.
  • The Fighting Illini will see neither of the new Big Ten teams in 2014. Both Rutgers and Maryland will be in the East Division of the Big Ten. The only teams from the West Division that will see Rutgers or Maryland are Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
  • The two East opponents for Illinois will be Ohio State and Penn State. The Buckeyes will host the Illini to open the month of November while the Nittany Lions will come to Champaign on November 22nd.
  • The Illini will host the Iowa Hawkeyes for the first time since 2008 on November 15th. When these two teams last met, the quarterback for the Illini was Juice Williams. Illinois also won that 2008 meeting on a last second field goal.
  • For the third year in a row, the Illini and the Wildcats will fight for the Land of Lincoln trophy. The 2014 meeting will be at Ryan Field in Evanston on November 29th.
  • The Illini will also face Wisconsin on the road, along with home games against Purdue and Minnesota.
  • It would be nice to see Illinois play either Rutgers or Maryland in 2015, but that is not likely (expect same as 2014 with locations flipped). The 2015 season will be the final 8-game season for the Big Ten. The conference intends to move to a 9-game season in 2016.

What do you think, Illini Nation? Did the Fighting Illini get a good draw in 2014?

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Tags: 2014 Schedule Big Ten Football Illinois Fighting Illini Iowa Hawkeyes Minnesota Golden Gophers Nebraska Cornhuskers Northwestern Wildcats Ohio State Buckeyes Penn State Nittany Lions Purdue Boilermakers Wisconsin Badgers

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