The Big Ten announced schedules for the 2014 season earlier today, the first with new members Rutgers and Maryland in the fold. Penn State's conference slate can be found below:
Sept. 13 - Rutgers
Sept. 27 - NORTHWESTERN
Oct. 11 - Michigan
Oct. 25 - OHIO STATE
Nov. 1 - MARYLAND
Nov. 8 - Indiana
Nov. 22 - Illinois
Nov. 29 - MICHIGAN STATE
(CAPS indicate home games)
The Lions also have non-conference matchups confirmed with Temple (Aug. 30), Akron (Sept. 6) and Massachusetts (Sept. 20).
Some notes and observations:
- Michigan State will be the season-ending opponent for Penn State, bringing back the battle for the Land-Grant Trophy. In Monday's poll, 51% of BSD voters chose the Spartans as their pick for season-finale opponent.
- Rutgers will play their Big Ten opener against the Nittany Lions in Piscataway. It will be the first matchup between the teams since 1995.
- Penn State gets another Big Ten first-timer Maryland at home on November 1st. It will be their first game together since 1993. The Terps will look to improve upon their 1-35-1 record against the Nittany Lions.
- Things are set up fairly well for Penn State as they get Northwestern, Ohio State and Michigan State, arguably three of their four toughest opponents, all at home. They will have to travel to the Big House on October 11th.
- There is one non-conference spot left to be filled for the 2014 schedule and it points to Central Florida and the Ireland game that everyone has been talking about. UCF has not announced their conference schedule yet for 2014, but if Penn State doesn't switch around dates with non-conference opponents, it appears that October 4th would have to be the date for that game. I doubt the staff would give up a bye week to prepare for Ohio State and mid-November would seemingly be too late for such a contest.
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