* Compared to previous years, no game times were set with today's schedule release. My assumption is that these will be coming later in the spring, possibly at the time when the conference's early season television schedule is set.
* Two schools were not part of this schedule: Ohio St. and Purdue. Purdue, a school without permanent lights, has maintained that they would prefer not to play any night games on BTN at this time as the schools are on the hook for the bill for temporary lights, where Ohio St. now has permanent lights and should be a top five team entering the year. I would expect the Buckeyes to have at least one home night game on ABC or ESPN.
* A notable game that was not part of this release, but one that will be a night game: TCU at Minnesota on Thursday 9/3. There are two reasons the game may not be part of this release:
- BTN was trying to differentiate between non-Saturday and Saturday night games
- The game is going to air on ESPN
In my opinion, I believe the game is going to be on ESPN with TCU potentially a top five team coming into the season.
I would not expect a Big Ten night game on 9/5 nor on 11/28 on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. If I were to guess six night games that they would select and not conflict with an existing BTN night game, here's what I think they'll pick up:
10/17: Penn St. at Ohio St.
10/24: Penn St. vs. Maryland (at M&T Bank Stadium)
10/31: Rutgers at Wisconsin
11/7: Rutgers at Michigan & Michigan St. at Nebraska
11/21: Michigan St. at Ohio St.
* Besides ABC/ESPN's night game schedule and the early season schedule, the Big Ten is unique that they also set their game times for homecoming games. TV networks aren't necessarily set for the games, just the time. Here are twelve of the fourteen homecoming games as I wasn't able to find homecoming dates for Maryland and Rutgers.
Ohio at Minnesota
Southern Miss at Nebraska
Kansas at Rutgers
Purdue at Michigan St.
Illinois at Iowa
Northwestern at Michigan
Maryland at Ohio St.
Indiana at Penn St.
Rutgers at Indiana
Iowa at Northwestern
Purdue at Wisconsin
Wisconsin at Illinois
Illinois at Purdue