Here is the Big Ten Football Schedule for the 2021 season. B-10 does the best job of getting their dates out early, the other 4 P5 conferences have their Non-Conference Schedules out, but only helmet schedules (who they are playing, but not the dates) for their conference games!
On SCFP (Sully’s College Football Page) we color code games to give the reader a better sense of the strength of a team’s schedule, with just a glance. On our conference pages we show data with the following format: a yellow dot signifies a non-conference, Power 5 (P5) opponent, a green dot indicates a Group of 5 (G5) non conference opponent, a light blue dot indicates an FCS opponent (63 scholarship program as opposed to an FBS team’s 85 scholarships), and red dot signals a conference opponent!
The B-10 is taking on 14 P5 opponents in 2021 (Yellow Dots)! Every team is playing 1 P5 except IU, who is not playing a Power 5 in 2021 & Purdue, who is challenging two (Oregon State & Notre Dame).
Four games that will draw national interest are: 1) Ohio State hosting Oregon, 2) Michigan welcoming Washington to the “Big House”, 3) Wisconsin traveling to Chicago’s Soldiers Field to battle Notre Dame, & 4) Penn State will lace ’em up against the Mighty SEC, as Auburn soars into State College’s Beaver Stadium!
A blockbuster game, from days gone by, will be revisited when Nebraska travels to Norman to take on Oklahoma. I remember those early 70’s games, with Huskers, Johnny Rogers & Sooners’ Greg Pruitt and a whole lot more, would play for the Big 8 crown!
Another game of interest will be played when the Spartans of Michigan State head south to take on the Miami Hurricanes. Talk about two teams that like to talk, these guys have a little men who lives behind their ears and when the game starts, these creatures of unknown origin, pull a cord, as if starting a lawn mower and everybody’s mouth starts running! This game should be entertaining!
The games between Rutgers @ Syracuse & Maryland welcoming West Virginia to College Park have long histories and are significant to each of these programs recruiting fates! Rutgers and Syracuse have played 43 times with the Orange holding a 30-12-1 advantage. The Terrapins have lined it up on 52 occasions vs the Mountaineers, winning 22, losing 28, and playing to 1 tie! All four of these teams battle for players in New Jersey & in the DMV (DC, Maryland, & Virginia) a win in either of these games goes a long way to winning in the living room!
Iowa’s annual battle with in-state rival, Iowa State, takes place on September 11th. The Hawks are on a 5 game winning streak and lead the overall series, 45-22.
The fighting Illini will head back east to take on the ACC’s, Virginia Cavaliers. Amazingly, the Illini lead the series, two wins to zero defeats. The teams 2 meeting were both in bowl games. Illinois won 31-21, in the 1990 Citrus Bowl & again, in the 1999, Micronpc. com Bowl, 63-21!
The final 4 games pit: 1) Minnesota @ Colorado, the Buffs have beaten the Golden Gophers in both their meetings. In 1991, @ Minnesota, the Buffalos won, 21-20 after having pounded the Gophers, 58-0, in 1991
2) Northwestern travels to Durham, NC, to play the Duke Blue Devils. These teams have played four times since 2015 and split the 4 games, the Cats won the 1st two, 19-10, in 2015 & 24-13 in 2016! The Devils have won the last two, 41-17 in 2017 & 21-7 in 2018!
3) Purdue has played Oregon State only once, in 1967! The Boilers came into the game ranked 2nd in the nation and were shocked, losing to the Beavers, 22-14, in West Lafayette!
4) That said, Purdue & ND have a long history. The Boilers & the Irish have played 86 times, with Notre Dame leading the series, 56-26-2 (please note, ND’s wins in 2012 & 2013 were vacated).
The B-10 in 2021 will play the ACC four (4) times, the SEC once (1), the PAC 12 in four games (4), the B-12, in three meetings (3) & Notre Dame twice (2)!
Since the B-10 moved to a 9 game conference schedule, they only have room for 42 Non-conference games! Fourteen (14) of the forty two (42) are against P5 opponents, twenty two (22) are against G5 conferences & 5 games are against FCS programs, for a total of 41 NC games!
Maryland still has 1 NC team to schedule for the 2021 season.