By Zac Ellis
The Big Ten released its 2015 schedule on Monday for what will be the league's final season before moving to a nine-game conference format in 2016.
The 2015 Big Ten slate kicks off with an East Division matchup between Rutgers and Penn State on Sept. 19. The 12 remaining schools begin nine consecutive weeks of league play on Oct. 3.
The winners of the 2015 schedule unveiling appear to be Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Big Ten powers avoid facing fellow conference heavyweights Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in both 2014 and 2015.
Rutgers, however, wasn't as fortunate. The Scarlet Knights will meet Nebraska and Wisconsin in addition to East Division opponents Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State. Minnesota also faces a seemingly daunting draw in 2015; the Gophers get Michigan and Ohio State as their cross-division foes.
Starting in 2014, the Big Ten will alter its divisional format to feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six teams in its division, plus two teams from the opposite division in both 2014 and 2015. The full 2015 Big Ten schedule can be viewed here.