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Northwestern’s Big Ten Championship Game rematch with Ohio State is scheduled for Oct. 18. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is not pleased.
Oct. 18 is a Friday. 2019 is the Big Ten’s second season of playing select games on Friday nights, and the Wildcats’ home game vs. the Buckeyes got selected for next season.
“This one was out of our control,” Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune. “Didn’t get a vote on this. I understand why we’re doing this, but it does not make me happy. I still fundamentally believe that Fridays are for high school football.”
Ohio State beat Northwestern 45-24 on Dec. 1 in the Big Ten title game. The two teams last played in the regular season in 2016 and in Evanston in 2013.
Friday games started in 2018
Fitzgerald isn’t alone in his displeasure with Friday night football games and that displeasure is nothing new. The conference is putting games on Friday nights so the Big Ten Network and other television partners have more live games in primetime. You can understand it from the television side, especially as Thursday and Friday night games have become commonplace across college football.
When the Big Ten announced in 2017 that it was moving some games to Fridays in 2018, two Northwestern games were selected. They got moved back to Saturdays not long after the Friday arrangements were announced and Northwestern made its unhappiness known to the league.
That unhappiness clearly only had leverage for a season.
Maryland and Penn State will also play on a Friday night in 2019. That game in College Park is set for Sept. 27. The conference had three Friday night games outside of the opening and final weekends of the season in 2018.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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