A 2012 Big Ten football schedule without Penn State? Iowa would move ... lots

Published: July 19 2012 | 3:06 pm - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 9:57 pm in

If the NCAA decides to sanction Penn State swiftly and force the school to abandon its football program for the 2012 season, the Big Ten would be in a world of scheduling hurt.

Scheduling football games isn't like plotting out dates for any other sport. The games are dedicated for Saturdays and players need time to recover. Travel plans are scheduled months, if not years, in advance. That's why if the NCAA shut down Penn State football this fall, Big Ten officials would be in full-time scramble mode. That's eight league games taken out of circulation. Trying to shift around the schedule without imploding it would be like playing Jenga after a few too many alcoholic beverages (Responsibility counts, remember?).

It wouldn't be impossible for Commissioner Jim Delany and league officials to reformat the Big Ten schedule, but it would be very, very difficult. Iowa and Nebraska would take the brunt of change, if this fantastical scenario takes place. So ... here's a wild hypothesis as to what would happen if Penn State's football program got whacked by the NCAA before the fall season and how the Big Ten would handle it.

SEPT. 15

  • Current schedule: Arkansas State at Nebraska; Idaho State idle
  • Revised schedule: Idaho State at Nebraska
  • How it works: Arkansas State is idle on Nov. 23/24 for game shift

SEPT. 22

  • Current schedule: Idaho State at Nebraska, Indiana idle
  • Revised schedule: Indiana at Nebraska; Idaho State idle
  • How it works: Idaho State is idle on Sept. 15; Nebraska hosts Penn State Nov. 10; Indiana plays at Penn State Nov. 17

SEPT. 29

  • Current schedule: Ohio State at Michigan State; Minnesota at Iowa; Penn State at Illinois
  • Revised schedule: Iowa at Michigan State; Ohio State at Illinois; Minnesota idle
  • How it works: Iowa-Michigan State shifts from Oct. 13; Iowa-Minnesota shifts to Oct. 6; Ohio State-Michigan State shifts to Nov. 10; Ohio State-Illinois would meet twice on different campuses because Penn State played 5 Leaders opponents, 3 Legends opponents

OCT. 6

  • Current schedule: Iowa, Minnesota idle; Northwestern at Penn State
  • Revised schedule: Minnesota at Iowa; Northwestern idle
  • How it works: Minnesota-Iowa shifts from Sept. 29 (easier said that done on homecoming weekend); Northwestern schedules Purdue on current idle week (Nov. 3)

OCT. 13

  • Current schedule: Iowa at Michigan State; Penn State, Nebraska idle
  • Revised schedule: Nebraska at Iowa, Michigan State idle
  • How it works: Nebraska-Iowa shifts from Nov. 23; Michigan State's idle week shifts from Nov. 10

OCT. 20

  • Current schedule: Penn State at Iowa
  • Revised schedule: Iowa idle
  • How it works: Iowa's idle week shifts from Oct. 6

OCT. 27

  • Current schedule: Ohio State at Penn State

  • Revised schedule: Ohio State idle

  • How it works: Ohio State's idle week shifts from Nov. 10

NOV. 3

  • Current schedule: Penn State at Purdue; Northwestern, Wisconsin idle

  • Revised schedule: Northwestern at Purdue

  • How it works: Northwestern's idle week shifts to Oct. 6

NOV. 10

  • Current schedule: Penn State at Nebraska; Ohio State, Michigan State idle

  • Revised schedule: Ohio State at Michigan State; Nebraska idle

  • How it works: Nebraska idle week shifts from Oct. 13

NOV. 17

  • Current schedule: Indiana at Penn State

  • Revised schedule: Indiana idle

  • How it works: Indiana's idle week shifts from Sept. 22

NOV. 23/24

  • Current schedule: Nebraska at Iowa (Nov. 23); Wisconsin at Penn State (Nov. 24); Arkansas State idle

  • Revised schedule: Arkansas State at Nebraska (2:30 p.m., Nov. 23 ESPN); Wisconsin at Iowa (11 a.m., Nov. 23 ABC)

  • How it works: Nebraska-Iowa shifts to Oct. 13; Arkansas State-Nebraska shifts from Sept. 15

 

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