Jan 2 , 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cheerleaders take the field before the game against the Houston Cougars at the 2012 Ticket City Bowl at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. Houston beat Penn State 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Big 10 Releases 2016, 2017 Football Schedules

2016 will be the first year Penn State is eligible for post season play, and today, we know the schedule that the Lions will navigate to get there.  It has been known for several months now that the Big 10 would be going to 9 conference games beginning in the 2016 season.  With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the conference, and 7 team divisions, the extra game allows for more crossover play between the divisions, and at least in theory, increased strength of schedule across the league.  I’m sure the fact the league TV deals with ESPN/ABC expire following the 2015-16 academic year have absolutely nothing to do with this either.

As for the specifics, Penn State will of course play all 6 teams in the East Division (Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana).  In 2016, the Lions will also face Minnesota and Iowa at home, and travel to West Lafayette for a match up with Purdue.  In 2017, PSU will make trips to Northwestern and Iowa, and face Nebraska in Happy Valley.  With the odd number of games, all Eastern teams will play 5 home games in 2016, and then play 4 at home the following year.

In 2016, Penn State will face Kent State, Temple, Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State at home, while traveling to Pitt, Michigan, Purdue, Indiana, and Rutgers.  The following year, Akron and Pitt make the trip to Beaver Stadium, along with Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers, and Nebraska.  There is still 1 non-conference game left to be scheduled, but with only 4 Big 10 home dates, PSU will be looking to fill that with an additional home date.

The entire schedule for each season can be seen here.

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