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Big Ten releases 2016, 2017 schedules

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

In 2016, the Big Ten will begin playing a nine-game conference schedule. And though that's a whole four seasons from now, there's no harm in planning ahead. Which is exactly what the Big Ten has done, as it released the schedules for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons on Thursday.

2016

2017

As you might have noticed, the three cross-divisional opponents do not remain the same on both schedules. Which means that, using Iowa for example, you might travel to Rutgers in 2016 but it could be years before Rutgers makes the return trip to Iowa City.

Also, as is always the case with a nine-game conference schedule, each year some teams will get five conference games at home while other get five on the road.

In 2016, the teams that will have five home games are the East Division, which makes sense. If you're going to have unbalance, the best way to keep things balanced is to make sure that every team in the same division plays the same amount of home games. In 2017, it's the West Division that will have five home games instead of four.

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