Did the Big Ten Conference Rig the Schedules?

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Turner Keck, Staff Writer

The Big Ten began their football season 4 weeks ago. When the new schedules for the conference were released, there was a great deal  of controversy surrounding them. The schedules were said to be completely random, but Ohio State appeared to get the easiest schedule. The Buckeyes were only scheduled to play two preseason ranked opponents, and four of their five remaining opponents sat at the bottom of the conference last season. Nebraska, who opposed the decision to postpone the season, was given the toughest schedule. Fans theorize that Nebraska was given the schedule as punishment.

Giving Ohio State an easy schedule makes sense. The Big Ten hasn’t had much  success in the College Football Playoffs since Ohio State won in 2015. The Big Ten wants to send their star team back to the playoffs to finally make it out of the semifinals, but the weak schedule won’t help them progress. Ohio State may be able to make the playoffs, but if they don’t face a major challenge, they won’t be able to defeat a more battle-tested team. 

Nebraska is not a good football team, plain and simple. Nebraska was scheduled to play Ohio State on the road and Penn State at home, which were 2 of their preseason ranked matchups. The Huskers were also scheduled to play Minnesota and Iowa who were in the top 25 in the preseason. Iowa was a road game, and it has become known as one of the toughest places to play. Nebraska was opposed to the decision to sit out the season and threatened to join another conference for the season so they could play football. The Big Ten most likely didn’t punish them, but the coincidences line up.

The Big Ten most likely didn’t fix their schedules to make Ohio State more successful or to make Nebraska suffer. The theory is an interesting one, but it is as interesting as it is dubious.