The cream of the crop in the Big Ten wanted absolutely nothing to do with Friday night football games and, as a result, the conference’s Friday slate for the 2017 season is (very) unsightly. On Tuesday afternoon, the conference revealed six games involving Big Ten teams that will take place on Friday evenings and not one is an appetizing match-up on a national scale.
A casual glance at the sextet of games reveals that Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa are absent from the proceedings, and Wisconsin is only on board given that their contest takes place on Labor Day weekend. Jim Harbaugh was at the head of the line in declaring his objection to Friday night scheduling, but it is very tough for the league to schedule effectively given the opposition of its best and brightest.
If you try hard enough, there are some possibly entertaining games, headlined by Northwestern traveling to an improving Maryland team (under D.J. Durkin) in mid-October. Still, the only games involving top-tier teams (Washington, Wisconsin) look to be quite lopsided and the conference will be praying for competition in this highly controversial time slot.
Football fans will watch because there is a distinct lack of options, but casual sporting observers simply can’t be excited about this schedule.