Michigan, Ohio State Dominate Initial Big Ten Football Primetime Games for 2013

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IApril 29, 2013

This year ESPN is giving us something to look forward to with its Big Ten television lineup. The network recently announced six games (h/t ESPN) that include Ohio State and Michigan a total of five times.

Ohio State is set to play three times, and Michigan makes the lineup twice.

Notre Dame is also set to appear in the Big Ten lineup twice, squaring off with Purdue and Michigan within the first three weeks of the season.

These six games are the first to be announced for the Big Ten on ESPN for 2013, but more will be announced as the season approaches.

All six games are set to be night contests, with the earliest coming at 5 p.m. ET between Michigan and Penn State. The remaining five games will kickoff at 8 p.m. ET.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will be the hosting channels for these games.

Date Matchup Time (ET)
Sept. 7 Notre Dame vs. Michigan  8 p.m.
Sept. 14 Notre Dame vs. Purdue  8 p.m.
Sept. 28  Wisconsin vs. Ohio State 8 p.m.
Oct. 5 Ohio State vs. Northwestern  8 p.m.
Oct. 12   Michigan vs. Penn State 5 p.m.
Oct. 26 Penn State vs. Ohio State  8 p.m.

Notre Dame being thrown into the mix with the Big Ten on prime time ESPN is no surprise with the results that have been witnessed over the past two years. In 2011 the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game was the most viewed on the network that season.

Expect the same results this fall as the game pulls a Week 2 matchup that will dominate the landscape.

This is big for both ESPN and the Big Ten. The conference is on the rise and hitting the prime time stage five out of six Saturdays to start the season is huge for exposure. As much as the Big Ten Network has done for the conference, its viewership is far from level with ESPN.

The first weeks of football are usually slow, but thanks to this pairing of games the excitement starts early in 2013.