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A Look at the 2014 Big Ten Football Schedule

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A new era of Big Ten football will begin on Sept. 13, 2014, and the Nittany Lions will be a part of it.

8932852.jpegPenn State is slated to travel to Rutgers on that date to compete against the Scarlet Knights in their first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference.  The conference released the 2014 schedule on Thursday, which also includes Maryland for the first time.

In 2014, the Big Ten will split into East - Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers - and West - Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin - divisions with the arrival of Maryland and Rutgers.

Penn State will play each of its division foes every season, along with two schools from the West division in 2014 and 2015.  Beginning in 2016, the Big Ten will play nine conference games, which means Penn State will play the other six teams in the East division and three schools from the West division.

As for 2014, the Lions are slated to host Northwestern (Sept. 27), Ohio State (Oct. 25), Maryland (Nov. 1) and Michigan State (Nov. 29).  In addition to Rutgers (Sept. 13), Penn State will travel to Michigan (Oct. 11), Indiana (Nov. 8) and Illinois (Nov. 22) for road games.

Because the game had been scheduled prior to Rutgers joining the Big Ten, the Lions' trip to New Jersey will lead to both teams opening conference play two weeks prior to everyone else.

Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993.  Since then, the Nittany Lions have played their conference opener on the road 14 times and at home nine times.  With the 2014 opener slated for a road game at Rutgers, it will mark Penn State's fifth-straight season and ninth in the previous 11 years of playing its conference opener away from home.

Michigan State returns to Penn State's schedule after three seasons off.  The Spartans and Nittany Lions will collide during the final week of the regular season, just as they did during Penn State's initial 18 seasons in the Big Ten.

Additionally, Penn State will be in Michigan Stadium for the first time since 2009 when it travels to Ann Arbor on Oct. 11, 2014.

As for the newest Big Ten members, Maryland will be making its first trip to Beaver Stadium since 1992.  Penn State has hosted the Terps 21 times (21-0).  The Lions will be traveling to Piscataway for only the fourth time in program history (3-0).  Penn State's last trip there came in 1955.

The 2013 season begins in MetLife Stadium on Aug. 31 when the Nittany Lions meet Syracuse in the season-opener.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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