The Big Ten has been striving to step up the ladder in college football, and it seems poised to take it to the next rung starting with the 2014 season.
A big reason is that the conference, as a whole, has bolstered its nonconference schedule.
The days of scheduling low-level schools are not gone completely, but most teams in the NCAA now try to have at least one premier nonconference matchup on their schedule. This was always a difficult proposition for Big Ten schools because they have multiple rivals in conference.
As the times have changed, the Big Ten has begun to change with it. We will get to see the conference grow up as it adds Maryland and Rutgers, and begin taking on bigger challenges in the nonconference schedule.
These are the Top 10 nonconference games that you should circle on your calendar for 2014.