Big Ten going to 9-game schedule for football

From staff reports

Penn State will host five Big Ten opponents in 2016 and will welcome Michigan and Nebraska in 2017, as the Big Ten Conference Thursday announced the conference schedules for both years. The Nittany Lions also will host Pitt in 2017 for the first time since 1999 as the series has been renewed rom 2016-19.

The Big Ten will launch East and West Divisions in 2014 and in 2016 the conference will move to a nine-game Big Ten schedule. The Nittany Lions will be in the East Division with Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Rutgers.

Starting in 2016, every Big Ten team will play the other six schools within its division and also face three teams from the other division starting in 2016. Penn State will have five conference home games during even numbered years and have four Big Ten home contests during odd numbered years.

In 2016, Penn State will host Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State, closing the regular season against the Spartans for the third consecutive year on Nov. 26. The Nittany Lions will visit Michigan, Purdue, Indiana and Rutgers in 2016.

In 2017, Penn State will host Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers and Nebraska. The Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers will renew their rivalry, which will pause after this season with the new cycle of conference opponents starting in 2014. Penn State will travel to Northwestern, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State and Maryland, ending the regular season on Nov. 25, 2017 by visiting the Terrapins. The Nittany Lions will face a stretch of four Big Ten road games out of five games overall at mid-season.

Also, plans have been finalized for Penn State and Central Florida to play a game next season in Dublin, Ireland, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The official announcement for the game will come Sunday, the newspaper reported, and the contest will take place next year at Croke Park.

The date of the game has yet to be revealed, although it’s expected to be the season opener for both teams in late August.

Penn State and Central Florida will play this season at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 14.