Illinois' Big Ten opener moved to Friday night primetime slot

Illinois' Big Ten opener moved to Friday night primetime slot originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

As part of the conference’s television agreement with Fox, a total of nine Big Ten football games have been shifted to Friday night start times this season, with Illinois' Big Ten opener now taking place under the lights.

According to a press release from Fox, Illinois will now take on Dylan Raiola and the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday, Sept. 20, with a 7 p.m. kickoff time in Lincoln.

The game will be the first of nine Big Ten games slotted onto Friday nights on the network, with a pair of Big 12 games also getting the Friday slots to bookend the season.

Northwestern will also have a Friday kickoff during the fall when they travel to College Park to battle Maryland on Oct. 11, Fox announced.

Rutgers will play multiple Friday night games, starting Sept. 27 against national runner-up Washington, and UCLA will play on Fridays in back-to-back weeks late in the season.

Here is the full slate of Friday night Big Ten games.

Sept. 20 Illinois at Nebraska 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 Washington at Rutgers 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 Michigan State at Oregon 8 p.m.

Oct. 11 Northwestern at Maryland 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Oregon at Purdue 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 Rutgers at USC 10 p.m.

Nov. 8 Iowa at UCLA 8 p.m.

Nov. 15 UCLA at Washington 8 p.m.

Nov. 22 Purdue at Michigan State 7 p.m.

The Big Ten’s broadcasting rights are now split between numerous networks as the league expands to 18 teams. CBS will air Saturday afternoon contests, while Fox will retain rights to air some of the biggest games on the schedule, including Michigan-Ohio State and Alabama-Wisconsin.

NBC and Peacock will continue to air games, with reigning national champion Michigan kicking off its 2024 season on Aug. 31 against Fresno State.