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Power Ranking the 2012 Big Ten Football Schedules

David Fidler Correspondent IFebruary 26, 2012

Power Ranking the 2012 Big Ten Football Schedules

1 of 13

    Which Big Ten team has the strongest schedule in 2012, and how much does that matter?

    Some argue it matters quite a bit. Due to the BCS rules, the Michigan Wolverines were almost kept out of a BCS bowl game in 2011 because strength of schedule left them struggling to get into the top 14 in the final BCS poll.

    This year, with out-of-conference games against Notre Dame and Alabama, Michigan shouldn't have that problem.

    What of the other Big Ten teams? Which teams will have the "easiest" road to the conference championship, and which teams really have to earn it?

    The reference to "missing" concerns the conference teams that said team will not meet this season.

12. Indiana Hoosiers

2 of 13

    09/01: Indiana State Sycamores

    09/08: At Massachusetts Minutemen

    09/15: Ball State Cardinals

    09/22: OPEN

    09/29: At Northwestern Wildcats

    10/06: Michigan State Spartans

    10/13: Ohio State Buckeyes

    10/20: At Navy Midshipmen

    10/27: At Illinois Fighting Illini

    11/03: Iowa Hawkeyes

    11/10: Wisconsin Badgers

    11/17: At Penn State Nittany Lions

    11/24: At Purdue Boilermakers

     

    Missing: Michigan, Nebraska and Minnesota

11. Iowa Hawkeyes

3 of 13

    09/01: Northern Illinois Huskies at Soldier Field, Chicago

    09/08: Iowa State Cyclones

    09/15: Northern Iowa Panthers (FCS)

    09/22: Central Michigan Chippewas

    09/29: Minnesota Golden Gophers

    10/06: OPEN

    10/13: At Michigan State Spartans

    10/20: Penn State Nittany Lions

    10/27: At Northwestern Wildcats

    11/03: At Indiana Hoosiers

    11/10: Purdue Boilermakers

    11/17: At Michigan Wolverines

    11/23: Nebraska Cornhuskers

     

    Missing: Wisconsin, Ohio State and Illinois

10. Illinois Fighting Illini

4 of 13

    09/01: Western Michigan Broncos

    09/08: At Arizona State Sun Devils

    09/15: Charleston Southern Buccaneers (FCS)

    09/22: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

    09/29: Penn State Nittany Lions

    10/06: At Wisconsin Badgers

    10/13: At Michigan Wolverines

    10/20: OPEN

    10/27: Indiana Hoosiers

    11/03: At Ohio State Buckeyes

    11/10: Minnesota Golden Gophers

    11/17: Purdue Boilermakers

    11/24: At Northwestern Wildcats

     

    Missing: Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska

9. Penn State Nittany Lions

5 of 13

    09/01: Ohio Bobcats

    09/08: At Virginia Cavaliers

    09/15: Navy Midshipmen

    09/22: Temple Owls

    09/29: At Illinois Fighting Illini

    10/06: Northwestern Wildcats

    10/13: OPEN

    10/20: At Iowa Hawkeyes

    10/27: Ohio State Buckeyes

    11/03: At Purdue Boilermakers

    11/10: At Nebraska Cornhuskers

    11/17: Indiana Hoosiers

    11/24: Wisconsin Badgers

     

    Missing: Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota

8. Minnesota Golden Gophers

6 of 13

    08/30: At UNLV Rebels

    09/08: New Hampshire Wildcats (FCS)

    09/15: Western Michigan Broncos

    09/22: Syracuse Orange

    09/29: At Iowa Hawkeyes

    10/06: OPEN

    10/13: Northwestern Wildcats

    10/20: At Wisconsin Badgers

    10/27: Purdue Boilermakers

    11/03: Michigan Wolverines

    11/10: At Illinois Fighting Illini

    11/17: At Nebraska Cornhuskers

    11/24: Michigan State Spartans

     

    Missing: Ohio State, Indiana and Penn State

7. Wisconsin Badgers

7 of 13

    09/01: Northern Iowa Panthers

    09/08: At Oregon State Beavers

    09/15: Utah State Aggies

    09/22: Texas-El Paso Miners

    09/29: At Nebraska Cornhuskers

    10/06: Illinois Fighting Illini

    10/13: At Purdue Boilermakers

    10/20: Minnesota Golden Gophers

    10/27: Michigan State Spartans

    11/03: OPEN

    11/10: At Indiana Hoosiers

    11/17: Ohio State Buckeyes

    11/24: At Penn State Nittany Lions

     

    Missing: Michigan, Northwestern and Iowa

6. Purdue Boilermakers

8 of 13

    09/01: Eastern Kentucky Colonels (FCS)

    09/08: At Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    09/15: Eastern Michigan Eagles

    09/22: OPEN

    09/29: Marshall Thundering Herd

    10/06: Michigan Wolverines

    10/13: Wisconsin Badgers

    10/20: At Ohio State Buckeyes

    10/27: At Minnesota Golden Gophers

    11/03: Penn State Nittany Lions

    11/10: At Iowa Hawkeyes

    11/17: At Illinois Fighting Illini

    11/24: Indiana Hoosiers

     

    Missing: Michigan State, Northwestern and Nebraska

5. Northwestern Wildcats

9 of 13

    09/01: At Syracuse Orange

    09/08: Vanderbilt Commodores

    09/15: Boston College Eagles

    09/22: South Dakota Coyotes (FCS)

    09/29: Indiana Hoosiers

    10/06: At Penn State Nittany Lions

    10/13: At Minnesota Golden Gophers

    10/20: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    10/27: Iowa Hawkeyes

    11/03: OPEN

    11/10: At Michigan Wolverines

    11/17: At Michigan State Spartans

    11/24: Illinois Fighting Illini

     

    Missing: Ohio State, Wisconsin and Purdue

4. Nebraska Cornhuskers

10 of 13

    09/01: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

    09/08: At UCLA Bruins

    09/15: Arkansas State Red Wolves

    09/22: Idaho State Bengals (FCS)

    09/29: Wisconsin Badgers

    10/03: At Ohio State Buckeyes

    10/13: OPEN

    10/20: At Northwestern Wildcats

    10/27: Michigan Wolverines

    11/03: At Michigan State Spartans

    11/10: Penn State Nittany Lions

    11/17: Minnesota Golden Gophers

    11/23: At Iowa Hawkeyes

     

    Missing: Illinois, Purdue and Indiana

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

11 of 13

    09/01: Miami (OH) RedHawks

    09/08: Central Florida Knights

    09/15: California Golden Bears

    09/22: Alabama-Birmingham Blazers

    09/29: At Michigan State Spartans

    10/06: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    10/13: At Indiana Hoosiers

    10/20: Purdue Boilermakers

    10/27: At Penn State Nittany Lions

    11/03: Illinois Fighting Illini

    11/10: OPEN

    11/17: At Wisconsin Badgers

    11/24: Michigan Wolverines

     

    Missing: Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota

2. Michigan State Spartans

12 of 13

    08/31: Boise State Broncos

    09/08: At Central Michigan Chippewas, Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

    09/15: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    09/22: Eastern Michigan Eagles

    09/29: Ohio State Buckeyes

    10/06: At Indiana Hoosiers

    10/13: Iowa Hawkeyes

    10/20: At Michigan Wolverines

    10/27: At Wisconsin Badgers

    11/03: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    11/10: OPEN

    11/17: Northwestern Wildcats

    11/24: At Minnesota Golden Gophers

     

    Missing: Purdue, Penn State and Illinois

1. Michigan Wolverines

13 of 13

    09/01: Alabama Crimson Tide at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

    09/08: Air Force Falcons

    09/15: Massachusetts Minutemen

    09/22: At Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    09/29: OPEN

    10/06: At Purdue Boilermakers

    10/13: Illinois Fighting Illini

    10/20: Michigan State Spartans

    10/27: At Nebraska Cornhuskers

    11/03: At Minnesota Golden Gophers

    11/10: Northwestern Wildcats

    11/17: Iowa Hawkeyes

    11/24: At Ohio State Buckeyes

     

    Missing: Wisconsin, Penn State and Indiana

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