Football: Big Ten releases 2014 schedule

Josh Walfish, Sports Editor

The Big Ten this morning released Northwestern’s 2014 conference schedule.

The Wildcats will open with a road game Sept. 27 at Penn State followed by their home opener a week later against Wisconsin. NU will also visit Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue and host Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois. The Cats will not play Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State or Rutgers.

The schedule is the first with two new divisions, East and West, and NU will play crossover games with Penn State and Michigan. The winners of the two divisions will meet in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis.

The eight conference games fill out most of the remaining 2014 schedule for the Cats. NU is already scheduled to open the season Aug. 30 at home against California, in addition to a Sept. 20 game against Western Illinois and a Nov. 15 road trip to Notre Dame. The Cats are expected to find a fourth non-conference game before the end of the calendar year.

NU’s partnership with the Chicago Cubs to play football games at Wrigley Field is scheduled to start in 2014. Michigan and Illinois are the favorites to be NU’s opponents as the only two schools to come to Evanston in November.

— Josh Walfish