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Five Toughest Big Ten Road Schedules in 2015

William Likely

William Likely

All schedules are obviously not created equal, but these five Big Ten teams face road gauntlets that would challenge any team in the country.

Here are the Big Ten's five toughest road schedules in 2015.

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5. Iowa

The Hawkeyes could be in the mix for the Big Ten West Division title, however, they'll be tested in five road venues that haven't been kind to them recently. Starting with Iowa State, they'll then travel to Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska — all places where Iowa has lost at least one of the last two games it has played there.

Related: Iowa Hawkeyes 2015 Preview and Prediction

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4. Purdue

The schedule isn't going to do Darrell Hazell any favors in 2015 as far as his rebuilding effort goes. The Boilermakers open with a trip to Marshall — a game they're not likely to be favored in. Once conference play starts, they can look forward to trips to East Lansing, Madison, Evanston and Iowa City. Northwestern is the only team on Purdue's road schedule that didn't play in a bowl game last year.

Related: Purdue Boilermakers 2015 Preview and Prediction

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3. Northwestern

Speaking of the Wildcats, they've got an even tougher series of road games than Purdue. They'll first travel to Durham, N.C., to play what has become a very respectable Duke program. In conference, they'll play at Michigan, at Wisconsin and at Nebraska in what is quickly becoming a heated rivalry. They'll wrap up the season at Soldier Field against Illinois. Northwestern will have less distance to travel in that one, but it'll be anything but a home game.

Related: Northwestern Wildcats 2015 Preview and Prediction

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2. Michigan State

As good as many are expecting the Spartans to be once again this season, the players and coaches they lost over the past couple of years should make this a fairly interesting campaign in East Lansing. After opening with what should be a snoozer at Western Michigan, they'll start their Big Ten road schedule with back-to-back trips to Rutgers and Michigan — two places where the fans will be anxious to make their presence felt against one of the "tough guys" on the block. The Spartans will then make the trip to Nebraska to play the Huskers, who haven't exactly been a pushover in recent years for Mark Dantonio and Co. The game that pushes this slate to the No. 2 position is the unenviable trip they'll make to play the defending national champion Buckeyes in Columbus on Nov. 21.

Related: Michigan State Spartans 2015 Preview and Prediction

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1. Maryland

The second go-round for the Terps in the Big Ten will be a doozy. All five road opponents in 2015 played in bowl games last season. Randy Edsall's group starts its road schedule with a border-war in Morgantown to face West Virginia. Maryland follows that up with conference games at Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State — finishing the year with another rivalry game against fellow B1G newcomer Rutgers. 

Related: Maryland Terrapins 2015 Preview and Prediction

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the editor-in-chief of, a Big Ten site for Big Ten fans. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.