Ranking the schedules of the Big Ten

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I took a look at the upcoming schedule for each Big Ten team for the 2009 football season. I did my best to rank the schedules from hardest to easiest looking at the teams on the schedule and if the games were home or away. Here's the full Big Ten schedule week by week and my rankings.

Weekly Big Ten Schedule:
1234567891011121314
IllinoisMIZZISU@OSUPSUMSU@IND@PURMICH@MINNNW@CINNFRES
IndianaEKUWMU@AKR@MICH OSU@UVAILL@NW@IOWAWISC@PSUPUR
IowaUNI@ISUARIZ@PSUARSTMICH@WISC@MSUIUNW@OSUMINN
MichiganWMUNDEMUIND@MSU@IOWADLSTPSU@ILLPUR@WiscOSU
Michigan StateMTSTCMU@ND@WISCMICH@ILLNWIOWA@MINNWMU@PURPSU
Minnesota@SYRAFACAL@NWWISCPUR@PSU@OSUMSUILLSD@IOWA
NorthwesternTOWEMU@SYRMINN@PURM-OH@MSUINDPSU@IOWA@ILLWISC
Ohio StateNAVYUSC@TOLILL@INDWISC@PURMINNNMSU@PSUIOWA@MICH
Penn StateAKRSYRTEMIOWA@ILLEIUMINN@MICH@NWOSUIND@MSU
PurdueTOL@ORENIUNDNW@MINNOSUILL@WISC@MICHMSU@IND
WisconsinNIUFRESWOFMSU@MINN@OSUIOWAPUR @INDMICH@NW@HAW


Schedule Rank:
  1. Ohio State (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Toledo) - Ohio State has a pretty good out of conference schedule that includes USC. They also have a really tough end of the season (at Penn State, vs. Iowa, and at Michigan)

  2. Minnesota (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easist: vs. South Dakota State) - Decent out of conference schedule Cal and Air Force, plus away games at Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, and Northwestern. A seven win season would be good with this schedule.

  3. Illinois (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Illinois State) - Illinois has one of the hardest out of conference schedules with Missouri, Illinois State, Cinncinati, and Fresno State. Then to start of the Big 10 they are at Ohio State, vs. Penn State, and vs. Michigan State. They could easily start 1-4.

  4. Iowa (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Northern Iowa) - Okay, people may say at Ohio State is the hardest, but a white out in Beaver Stadium at night is defintely a tough environment to be the away team. The rest of the away games are tough at Mighigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa State. The home schedule is not so bad.

  5. Wisconsin (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Woffard) - The Badgers out of conference include Fresno State and a trip out to Hawaii, both of which are tough games. The real test in their schedule though, is the first 4 Big Ten games, Michigan State, at Minnesota, at Ohio State, and Iowa.

  6. Michigan (Hardest: Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Deleware State) - Michigan's out of conference games are pretty easy, but they play at Michigan State and Iowa back to back. They also on the road at Illinois and Wisconsin, both tough places to play. Penn State and Ohio State are also on the schedule.

  7. Indiana (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Eastern Kentucky) - Indiana's schedule will be challenging for them. They have Iowa and Penn State on the road and will have tough games against Ohio State and Illinois at home.

  8. Michigan State (Hardest: vs. Penn State, Easiest: vs. Montana State) - The Spartans get Iowa and Penn State at home and miss out on Ohio State. Games at Notre dame and Wisconsin will be tough, but the schedule sets up pretty nicely for Michigan State to have a solid season.

  9. Purdue (Hardest: @Oregon, Easiest: Toledo) - I'll give Purdue credit for an out of conference with Toledo, Oregon, Northern Illionois, and Nortre Dame. That is one of the toughest in the Big 10. However, in conference play, Purdue misses Iowa and Penn State and gets the toughest teams, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Northwestern at home.

  10. Northwestern (Hardest: @Iowa, Easiest: vs. Towson) - Towson, Eastern Michigan, Syracuse, and Miami (OH) make up an easy out of conference schedule. Then in the Big 10 they miss Michigan and Ohio State.

  11. Penn State (Hardest: vs. Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Eastern Illinois) - This schedule may have some tougher teams than some of the other schedules, but with Penn State's team they have a chance at going 12-0 with this schedule. The out of confernce is very easy (Akron, Syracuse, Temple, and Eastern Illinois all at home…pretty sad Penn State!) and with 8 home games they get Ohio State and Iowa at home. The toughest road test will be at Michigan State, though at Illinois, Michigan, and Northwestern will also be challenging.
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