B1G Football Is Back!

• The 124th season of Big Ten football will commence this weekend as 14 teams open the 2019 campaign. Minnesota will be the first conference school to make its debut on Thursday, opening at home against South Dakota State at 9 p.m. ET on FS1. Michigan State, Rutgers and Wisconsin will each open the season on Friday, as the Spartans host Tulsa and the Badgers travel to South Florida, while the Scarlet Knights, who won college football’s inaugural game against Princeton in 1869, will help kick off college football’s 150th season by welcoming Massachusetts. The remaining 10 schools will begin the 2019 campaign on Saturday …

• The first Saturday of the season will feature a neutral site contest between Indiana and Ball State. The Hoosiers will face the Cardinals at noon at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the site of this year’s Big Ten Football Championship Game …

• The 2019 campaign will feature 44 All-Big Ten honorees (12 first-team, 14 second-team, 18 third-team) and 65 honorable mention selections from last season …

• The winners of five of the Big Ten’s 14 regular-season individual awards from last season will also hit the field again this fall. Purdue wide receiver/return specialist Rondale Moore was named both the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in 2018, while Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor was chosen as the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year. Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes was tabbed the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Michigan’s Will Hart was named the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year …

• The Big Ten will continue to feature the largest bowl lineup in conference history. This season, the Big Ten’s bowl lineup will be highlighted by 16 potential bowl destinations in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas …

• Counting conference and non-conference contests, every Big Ten team will face at least six teams that played in a bowl game last season. Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin lead the way with eight such contests, followed by Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Rutgers with seven apiece …

• Twelve Big Ten teams will square off against at least one non-conference team that participated in a bowl game last season, with 21 of all 42 non-conference games featuring opponents coming off bowl trips. Michigan and Purdue will each face bowl teams in all three of their 2019 non-conference contests, while Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State will each play two bowl opponents outside the conference schedule …

• Ohio State was crowned the 2018 Big Ten Champion after its 45-24 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game. It was the Buckeyes’ 37th Big Ten title and second in as many years …

• Michigan, Ohio State and Northwestern will look to repeat as division champions this season, as the Wildcats finished 8-1 to win the West Division for the first time and the Buckeyes and Wolverines finished tied atop the East Division standings at 8-1 in conference play …

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