The Big Ten will increase its number of conference football games in the opening weeks of the season in 2020 and 2021.
There also is a change in rivalry week in schedules announced Tuesday. Iowa will meet Wisconsin and Nebraska will play Minnesota the last week of the regular season in 2020 and 2021. Iowa and Nebraska have closed the regular season against each other since the Cornhuskers joined the conference in 2011.
East Division teams will have five home conference games and West teams will have four in 2020. The split will be reversed in 2021.
The 2020 season opens Sept. 5 with Indiana at Wisconsin, Northwestern at Michigan State and Purdue at Nebraska. The 2021 season opens Sept. 4 with Indiana at Iowa, Michigan State at Northwestern, Ohio State at Minnesota and Penn State at Wisconsin.
The Big Ten is joining other conferences in playing early league games.
“Really, 2017 was the first year we could do that,” Senior Associate Commissioner Mark Rudner said. “Obviously, Ohio State and Indiana two weeks ago had a great game and was watched by a lot of people.”
Northwestern visits Purdue in Week 1 in 2018 and Rutgers plays at Iowa in Week 1 in 2019.
Nonconference games arranged years ago had to be scheduled around, and more openings for early conference games were available beginning in 2020.
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