For those Wildcat fans who like to plan way in advance, there's some good news for you.
The Big Ten released its conference schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons Wednesday, allowing a glimpse at which cross-division games the Cats will be playing five and six years from now.
With Maryland and Rutgers joining the Big Ten next season and the nine-game conference schedule starting in 2016, the conference slate will look drastically different in future seasons. But after already getting a peak at the 2016 and 2017 schedules, fans should be used to it by now.
There will also be East and West divisions (goodbye, Legends and Leaders), with Northwestern playing in the West alongside Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Purdue.
The days of the BIg Ten waiting until a few weeks in to start conference play are over, and the Cats will open the 2018 campaign with a trip to Purdue on Sep. 1. The cross-division battles that season pit Northwestern against Michigan, Michigan State and Rutgers, with the latter two being road games. That contest in New Jersey will be Northwestern's first against Rutgers with both competing as members of the Big Ten.
In 2019, the cross-divisional games are Michigan State and Ohio State in Evanston and a trip to Bloomington to take on Indiana.