You can't make this stuff up.
Here's what BTN President Mark Silverman said of these games from the press release last Thursday:
"We’re very excited about our primetime schedule and think it’s the strongest we’ve ever had. There’s always extra electricity in the air for Big Ten night games, and we have some top-quality matchups."
Now I know the Big Ten Network hasn't been around for a very long time and that the top games are gobbled up by ABC and ESPN, but can't they do better than this?
Here's the full 7 game schedule:
Sept. 2, 7:30 pm ET Youngstown State at Michigan State
Michigan State, one of the more prouder programs in the country, gets to kick off its 2011 season by playing a I-AA team on a Friday night.
You could have played at noon on Saturday and made sure the rest of the country was unaware this game was played until they check the box scores later that night, but no! They want to go head to head with a TCU-Baylor matchup on Friday night in primetime!
Sept. 10, 7 pm ET Virginia at Indiana
These teams are meant for each other as each program is an identical 12-24 over the past three years.
All together, the Cavaliers and Hoosiers have beaten a paltry 10 BCS teams since 2008, with Indiana only beating 3 (!) over the past three seasons.
These teams met in Charlottesville in 2009 when a 3-9 UVA team destroyed a 4-8 Indiana team 47-7, so you know the Hoosiers will be looking for some pay back.
If only Bill Lynch were still involved this might be entertaining.
Sept. 17, 7 pm ET Arizona State at Illinois
Hey, look we have ourselves a game with a pulse.
If we're lucky and Arizona State beats Missouri in the second week, the Sun Devils might come into this contest ranked. Big Ten officials have their fingers crossed.
This is likely the second best game the BTN has to offer, and they'll be talking it up for months.
Are you impressed?
Side note: The official press release states that this will be the first Pac-10/12 team to visit Illinois since 1994. That's insane in the membrane.
Sept. 24, 7 pm ET North Dakota State at Minnesota
Another I-AA team graces this primetime schedule, making up 29% of the total games!
This is legitimately one of the least appealing games college football has to offer.
The only reason to watch is to check out Minnesota's new stadium if you haven't had an opportunity to see it yet.
Oct. 8, 7 pm ET Michigan at Northwestern
Who knows what Michigan will look like by early October. Do you think the Wolverines will be favored in this game?
Northwestern doesn't have a killer schedule prior to this game, so the Wildcats could be riding some momentum.
The Wildcats nearly sold out their stadium in 2007 the last time Michigan came to Evansville and we're all looking forward to seeing if that happens.
Oct. 15, 7 pm ET Northwestern at Iowa
I think this is probably the Big Ten's feature game from this schedule. Stop laughing!
Northwestern has owned the series of late winning 5 of the last 6 contests as well as the last three inside Kinnick Stadium.
The Hawkeyes are going to really want to win this game and that is a very underrated aspect to this game that makes it semi-interesting. I won't go too overboard though, these games still all suck.
Oct. 22, 7 pm ET Penn State at Northwestern
No Ohio State, Wisconsin, or Nebraska on the primetime BTN 2011 schedule.
But Northwestern gets the final three games baby!
It's pretty hilarious that Northwestern, with one of the worst home field atmospheres in all of college football, gets two home games on this primetime schedule.
Check out some of these attendance figures for Northwestern over the past couple years: 25,471, 30,075, 17,857, 19,239, 22,091, 24,364, and 30,546 (and this last one was for a top ten ranked Penn State team in town in 2009).
There won't be a top ten ranked Nittany Lion program coming to town this year.
Are there any redeeming qualities to these set of games?