Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Coach Chamber’s Big Ten Orientation to kick off at Michigan

Submitted by on September 7, 2011No Comment

It looks like Big Ten is not about to make it easy for first year head coach Patrick Chambers.

In a complete schedule release, the conference announced today that Penn State will open their 20th season of Big Ten play at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan on December 29th followed by a second consecutive road contest against Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois.

But its the single play opponents the Big Ten has drawn for the Nittany Lions that should have them worried. In spite of expansion, the Nittany Lions, like all 12 members of the Big Ten will continue to play a 18-game conference slate this season; 9 home and 9 away. But each member will now have 4-single play opponents instead of the 2 teams had prior to the addition of Nebraska. This season, the Lions will be facing Minnesota (home), Illinois (home), Michigan State (away) and Ohio State (away) in single-play games.

On the one hand, Coach Chambers could be catching a slight break by facing the Buckeyes and Spartans, two of the conferences perennial top dogs just once this season. That is huge for the win-loss column. But on the other, this setup makes the games against the Gophers, Illini, Spartans and Buckeyes that much more important since the Lions will just get the one shot at a RPI-boosting win against each top-notch opponent. And with both the Michigan State and Ohio State games being away, our odds of winning are that much smaller.

 THUR, Dec 29 @ Michigan 7:30pm BTN
 SUN, Jan 1 @ Northwestern 7:00pm ESPNU
 THUR, Jan 5 Purdue 8:00pm BTN
 SUN, Jan 8 Indiana 12:00pm BTN
WED, Jan 11 @ Nebraska 8:30pm BTN
SUN, Jan 15 Minnesota 4:00pm BTN
THUR, Jan 19  Illinois 9:00pm ESPN2
 SUN, Jan 22 @ Indiana 12:00pm BTN
WED, Jan 25 @ Ohio State 6:30pm BTN
TUES, Jan 31 Wisconsin 8:00pm BTN
SAT, Feb 4 @ Iowa 3:00pm ESPNU
WED, Feb 8 @ Michigan State 6:30pm BTN
SAT, Feb 11 Nebraska 1:00pm ESPNU
THUR, Feb 16 Iowa 9:00pm ESPNU
SUN, Feb 19 @ Wisconsin TBA TBA
SAT, Feb 25  Northwestern  9:00pm ESPNU
WED, Feb 29 @ Purdue 6:30pm BTN
SUN, March 4 Michigan TBA TBA

The Big Ten did Penn State no favors scheduling the toughest 2 of Penn State’s 4 single play opponents all within a span of 14 days, Ohio State (away), Wisconsin (home) and Michigan State (away). Even the Iowa game, a welcome breather during that stretch will be an away game. Anyone remember the last time we visited Iowa City? Ouch.

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